The Scoop: May 27, 2020 edition HEALTH INSURANCE

Dismissed in March? Your SEP health insurance may end soon

In the past two and a half months, approximately 39 million Americans have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. There is the coverage sponsored by the employer the most common form In the United States, many of these people lost their health insurance in the middle of a pandemic. The loss of health insurance triggers a special registration period in which you can purchase a new plan. However, this window is only open 60 days after the end of the old plan. For people in the first round of discharge – whose health insurance ended on March 31st – this 60-day window ends this weekend on May 30th.

There are still several states where anyone who is uninsured, regardless of whether they have recently lost cover or not, can enroll in a health insurance plan through the exchange. These windows end on June 15th in Maryland, New York, and Vermont. June 23 in Massachusetts, June 30 in California and September 30 in Washington, DC. After closing these windows, residents need a qualifying event to register for 2020 health insurance. Losing another health plan is a qualifying event, but you must register within 60 days.

The Washington Stock Exchange will have 13 insurers by 2021, up from nine this year

Last year there were seven insurers offering plans on Washington’s state health insurance exchange. This group rose to nine this year, and four more insurers will join the stock exchange in 2021, bringing the number of participating insurers to 13. There will be at least two participating insurers in all areas of the state – a far cry from the situation Washington faced a few years ago when Commissioner Mike Kreidler had to struggle to convince insurers to cover counties that otherwise didn’t exist Coverage options.

The proposed retail market premiums in Washington will be released next week. Insurers on the Washington stock exchange will be offering standardized health insurance plans for the first time in 2021. (You also have the option to offer non-standardized plans.) In addition, public option plans will be available on the stock exchange when open registration begins in November.

The Oregon Stock Exchange will have six insurers by 2021

Regence – one of the insurers planning to participate in the Washington stock exchange – also plans to participate in the Oregon stock exchange in 2021. The number of insurers on Oregon’s stock exchange will increase from five to six, and three of them plan to offer insurance coverage nationwide. Most insurers in Oregon have proposed modest single-digit rate increases for 2021, and regulators note that the government’s reinsurance program continues to play an important role in keeping single market premiums lower than would otherwise be the case.

Michigan health insurers announce premium credits to address lower COVID-19 claims

Overall health insurance claims have declined because so many elective medical procedures due to COVID-19 have been canceled or delayed, resulting in lower costs for insurers. Earlier this month, we told you about health insurers, including Priority Health in Michigan, that had announced that they would award bonus credits to their participants due to a reduction in claims costs. Other insurers in Michigan have made similar announcements in the past few days, including Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Blue Cross Blue Michigan sign.

Numerous Dental plans Throughout the country, they also offer premium credits to their individual and group registrations due to the greatly reduced dental non-emergency care.

New Mexico takes action against misleading marketing plans for limited-benefit health plans

New Mexico Insurance Commissioner, Russell Toaltakes action to address misleading marketing tactics that are sometimes used to sell limited-benefit health plans. in the a bulletin that was published last weekThe commissioner lists various fraudulent practices that are not tolerated, including anything that tries to present defined benefit plans as a comprehensive basic medical care. especially in the midst of a pandemic.

Agents marketing limited-performance plans in New Mexico must inform customers of how these plans differ from comprehensive, ACA-compliant coverage, and customers must provide the New Mexico coverage options flyer, in which the state of the State is explained provide comprehensive reporting to every applicant. New Mexico opened its high-risk pool to uninsured residents very early in the COVID-19 response. This is still an option for those who are not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or a special enrollment period to purchase a plan in the EU health insurance exchange.

Medicaid expansion will take place in Missouri on August 4th

Missouri is one of 14 states where Medicaid has not yet been expanded, but voters will have the opportunity to decide on the issue this year. Last week, the Secretary of State confirmed the submitted signatures to put a Medicaid expansion initiative on the ballot. However, Governor Mike Parson announced this week that the measure will take place on August 4, 2020 instead of the general election. Parson, who opposes the expansion of Medicaid, says that the previous elections will give the state more time to implement Medicaid expansion if voters agree. Proponents of Medicaid expansion claim, however, that Parson hopes that the lower voter area codes will reduce the likelihood that the measure will be adopted.

The governor of Oklahoma recently did the same thing with the Citizens-led Medicaid expansion election initiative, planning it for the June primary instead of the general election. The governor of Oklahoma also surprised the legislature last week when he did Vetoed a bill that would have funded the alternative Medicaid expansion plan that he had suggested earlier this year. Some lawmakers believe that the governor’s veto will increase the likelihood that the Medicaid expansion choice initiative will be adopted next month.

Medicaid expansion initiatives have been underway in Maine, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska in recent years.

The Virginia governor vetoed laws that would have allowed the self-employed to enroll in the association’s health plans

The Virginia governor recently went back and forth with lawmakers to give self-employed people the opportunity to sign up for the association’s health plans. The proposal would have been a stretch since the Virginia Bureau of Insurance had already told lawmakers that they are unlikely to be able to use a 1332 waiver to get federal approval for the rule change. And Governor Northam had advised the legislature to rethink the measure next year. But lawmakers finally sent the bill back to Northam in April and vetoed it last week.

IRS sets the HSA rules for 2021, including premium limits, minimum deductible and maximum payout

The IRS has released his annual guidelines for HSA-qualified high deductible health insurance (HDHPs):

  • People with HDHP coverage in 2021 can contribute up to $ 3,600 to an HSA if their HDHP is for themselves and up to $ 7,200 if their HDHP covers at least one other family member.
  • The minimum deductions for HDHPs remain unchanged: $ 1,400 for self-insurance and $ 2,800 for family insurance (note that insurers can increase the deductibles from 2020 to 2021; only the minimum threshold remains unchanged).
  • The maximum allowable spending limit for HDHPs is $ 7,000 for an individual and $ 14,000 for a family. These amounts are well below the upper limits for non-HDHPs ($ 8,550 and $ 17,100 respectively). In 2014, when the thresholds for HDHPs and non-HDHPs were the same, HDHPs tended to be one of the cheapest plans available. However, this is increasingly no longer the case, as in most areas there are tended to be more cost-effective plans with display maxima that are too high to be HDHPs.

Louise Norris is a single health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health care reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational contributions to the Affordable Care Act for Her state updates to health exchanges are regularly quoted by media covering health reforms and other health insurance professionals.

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