Health Insurance Marketplace 2019: Rate Analysis
The health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have weathered several years of volatility and uncertainty. Following a tumultuous 2017 marked by Congressional “repeal and replace” debates, important administrative changes, and the termination of cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, Michigan and other states experienced steep premium increases for 2018.
One year later, premiums in Michigan’s Health Insurance Marketplace have stabilized, with increases for 2019 far lower than they have been in recent years. Michigan also experienced its first new insurer entering the market since 2015.
With financial assistance tied to premium levels, low premium increases for 2019 mean that some individuals will experience changes in the amount of financial assistance they receive to purchase Marketplace coverage, so consumers should compare plan options, pricing, and benefits carefully to find coverage that meets their needs.
Key findings of our 2019 health insurance marketplace rate analysis include:
- Premium increases for 2019 are substantially lower than premium increases in 2018. Across all counties, the average premium increase for the lowest cost and second-lowest cost silver plans is 0.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. Premiums for the lowest cost bronze plan increased by 1.5 percent, and premiums for the lowest cost gold plan decreased by 0.2 percent.
- Michigan continues to have a robust Marketplace. Nine insurers are participating in the health insurance marketplace in 2019, an increase of one from 2018. The new insurer, Oscar Insurance Company, offers coverage in five Southeast Michigan counties. All of Michigan’s 83 counties have at least two participating carriers.
- Michigan consumers can select from a variety of Marketplace plans. There are 12 to 57 plans offered in each of Michigan’s 83 counties.
- The 2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period remains the same length as it was for 2018: 45 days, beginning November 1 and ending December 15.
- Federal financial support for Michigan Navigators to help with open enrollment has been reduced by 51 percent, from $627,958 in 2018 to $309,111 in 2019.
- This is the second year in a row of substantial funding reductions for the Navigator program: from 2017 to 2018, Michigan’s Navigator funding decreased by 72 percent, from $2,228,692 in 2017 to $627,958 in 2018.