One of the secondary benefits of the Affordable Care Act is the new plan offerings in the individual market. Both VSP and Blue Shield of California have introduced individual and family vision insurance plans (IFP) with benefits rivaling group plans. Just as we have seen the medical benefits for IFP become equivalent to small group plans, the insurers are reworking their dental and vision insurance products to be more comprehensive as well.
Posts related to individual health insurance on and off exchange, Medi-Cal, Covered California, Medicare, short term medical options.
Many Californians are seeing their individual and family health insurance premiums jump with the inclusion of all the new Affordable Care Act benefits and regulations. A small sampling of the new ACA rates shows that Covered California individual health plans are comparably priced with current and future small group plans offered in California.
In communication with their brokers on September 10, Health Net said they would be closing all their California individual and family plans (IFP) as of December 31, 2013. The closures do not affect their small or large group plans. The announcement cited the development of all new Affordable Care Act compliant plans as a reason for scrapping all the old ones.
While some industry analysts point a finger at new guarantee issue rules for individual plans as a reason UHC and Aetna are vacating California, both are still retaining their lines of employer group business which IS ALL GUARANTEE ISSUE. It is rather disheartening that UHC and Aetna have taken such a cynical profit driven approach to the individual market in California and in other states.
Aetna hinted in their announcement that a combination of the new health insurance exchange and required benefits forced them to pull the plug on their individual plans. In recent years, Aetna has never been very competitive in terms of price with other carriers such as Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Blue Shield of California
The overwhelming majority of the funds in the individual market are allocated to organizations targeting specific counties to promote Covered California.
I’ve talked with numerous people who, like me, had high hopes that CO-OPs would be a consumer focused option where the business model was not driven by profits.
There is the possibility that under the health insurance exchange and the construction of the new individual plans we could see premium rates less than what is being quoted today.
While there is no doubt that healthcare costs are escalating, there may be other reasons beyond pure inflation that is driving Anthem and other carriers to seek rate increases.
If men could become pregnant would maternity coverage have been included as covered benefit years ago?