Although public reaction the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) has been mixed, four years after its passage, insurance companies are moving forward under its framework. Around the country, insurance companies are looking to expand their offerings to consumers through private, state and federal Exchanges.
- Georgia. During the 2014 open enrollment period, insurance was offered by five companies on Georgia’s state Exchange. Currently seven insurance companies will be offering coverage on Georgia’s Exchange for the 2015 open enrollment period. Notably missing are United Healthcare and Cigna, two of the nation’s top providers. However, recent reports indicate that United Healthcare is considering joining the state’s Exchange. United currently only offers insurance on five state exchanges. Advocates of the ACA argue that with more companies offering coverage in each state, consumers are given a wider variety of options and more competitive prices.
- Illinois. Ten insurance companies in Illinois have submitted a total of 504 plans for approval to the state Department of Insurance. Approved plans will then be offered on the state’s Exchange during the 2015 open enrollment period. For the 2014 open enrollment period, eight companies offered a total of 165 plans in Illinois. During the 2014 open enrollment period, approximately 92 percent of th 217,000 people who purchased insurance bought a plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
- Nationally. The national trade organization America’s Health Insurance Plans, or “AHIP”, is pressing the government to “enhance affordability” by allowing lower premium catastrophic plans for families to be sold on the Marketplace. According to AHIP, “We believe a new catastrophic plan would further the public policy goal of affordability and call upon policymakers to expand consumer choices by allowing this lower-premium option to be offered.” Currently catastrophic plans are only available to a select group of individuals.
- Private exchanges. Reports indicate approximately three million Americans purchased health insurance for 2014 on private Health Insurance Exchanges. Private exchanges are run by corporations and can also referred to as “defined contribution” coverage. In Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon recently launched “Regence Marketplace” for Oregon businesses to consider, along with this explanatory marketing video:
Some reports estimate that by 2018, enrollment on private exchanges will surpass federal and state Exchange enrollment. Bain & Co. estimates that up to 80 million Americans will get their insurance from private exchanges by 2018.