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HHS Releases Marketplace Rate Snapshot for Florida

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a rate snapshot of health insurance marketplace rates for plans offered in Florida that shows there will be a 1.20% increase for second lowest cost silver plans offered in 2016. These increases do not take into account advance premium tax credits, which lower the monthly costs for the overwhelming majority of Marketplace consumers. About 8 in 10 individuals who selected a 2015 Marketplace plan qualified for financial assistance, and the average advance premium tax credits for those enrollees who qualified for financial assistance was $270 per month. The entire report can be found below.

Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace starts on November 1, 2015 and runs through January 31, 2016. Consumers must sign up by December 15 to have coverage that starts January 1. Consumers can find help by calling 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) 24/7 or find in person assistance in their local area by visiting localhelp.healthcare.gov.

2016 Marketplace Affordability Snapshot

The next Open Enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins on November 1, 2015 for coverage starting on January 1, 2016. According to an HHS analysis, about 8 out of 10 returning consumers will be able to buy a plan with premiums less than $100 dollars a month after tax credits; and about 7 out of 10 will have a plan available for less than $75 a month. Highlights of the 2016 Marketplace Affordability Snapshot include:

  • New HHS data indicates that in 2016 nearly 8 in 10 returning Marketplace consumers will be able to buy a plan with premiums less than $100 month after tax credits.
  • In addition, about 7 in 10 returning Marketplace consumers will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less in monthly premiums after tax credits in 2016.
  • The average rate increase for a benchmark plan across 30 of the largest markets, representing 60 percent of Marketplace enrollees, is 6.3 percent. This rate increase does not account for the benefit provided by tax credits to eligible consumers.
  • Across all markets in the 37 states, the cost of the benchmark plan will increase an average of 7.5 percent.
  • For 2016, over two thirds of counties will have three or more issuers. 
  • New analysis based on the second open enrollment found that those returning consumers who switched plans within the same metal tier saved an average of nearly $400 on their 2015 annualized premiums after tax credits as compared to those who stayed in their same plans. 

The 2016 Affordability Snapshot provides a review of the final rate increases for second lowest cost silver plans, known as benchmark plans, which will be available for purchase in the 37 states that used the HealthCare.gov platform in 2015, including those in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, State Partnership Marketplaces, and supported State-based Marketplaces.

Across all 37 states that used the HealthCare.gov platform, the cost of the benchmark plan will increase on average 7.5 percent in 2016. For those consumers who live in 30 of the largest markets representing more than 60 percent of total enrollment, the average increase in premiums for the benchmark plan is 6.3 percent for the second-lowest cost silver plan. These increases do not take into account advanced payments of premium tax credits, which lower the monthly costs for the overwhelming majority of Marketplace consumers.
About 8 in 10 individuals who selected a 2015 Marketplace plan qualified for financial assistance, and the average advanced premium tax credits for those enrollees who qualified for financial assistance was $270 per month. Based on a new HHS analysis, nearly 8 in 10 of returning Marketplace consumers will be able to buy a plan for $100 or less in monthly premiums after tax credits in 2016. In addition, about 7 in 10 returning Marketplace consumers will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less in monthly premiums after tax credits in 2016.
“For most consumers, premium increases for 2016 are in the single digits and they will be able to find plans for less than $100 a month,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplaces.

The second-lowest cost silver plan is notable because it serves as the benchmark plan to calculate the amount of advanced premium tax credit consumers may be eligible for to help lower the cost of their Marketplace coverage. Looking across all “metal levels” of plans available, silver plans are the most popular plans on the Marketplace. About 70 percent of consumers enrolled in silver plans, with approximately 11 percent of all consumers enrolled in the second-lowest cost silver plans in 2015.

Returning Consumers Who Shop Save Money

When Open Enrollment begins on November 1, consumers will be encouraged to visit HealthCare.gov to browse their coverage options to find the plan that best meets their budget and health needs.

Last year, almost 53 percent of consumers who re-enrolled in a Marketplace plan shopped around with more than half of those selecting a new plan. The average consumer who switched plans saved money on his or her net premium, based on a forthcoming HHS analysis of Open Enrollment in 2015. Net premiums are premiums minus the amount of applicable tax credit – the amount that is paid by a consumer. Those who switched plans within the same metal tier saved an average of nearly $400 on their 2015 annualized premiums after tax credits as compared to those who stayed in their same plans.

“If consumers come back to the Marketplace and shop, they may be able to find a plan that saves them money and meets their health needs”, according to Counihan. “Last year, over half of re-enrolling consumers on HealthCare.gov shopped and half of those who shopped selected a new plan – that sort of choice and competition was limited prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

Premium spending for consumers in the benchmark plans also are capped based on their income, so a returning consumer who chooses this year’s benchmark plan may offset any potential rate increase. Additionally, advanced premium tax credits adjust with the cost of benchmark plans, so consumers who choose the benchmark plan will see an increase in their tax credits that roughly matches their premium increases. This illustrates why it’s important for consumers to shop – no matter what type of plan they have.

State-by-State Final and Proposed Rate Changes

The overall average rate increase of 7.5 percent is based on the benchmark plan for all counties in the 37 states that used the HealthCare.gov platform in 2015. Premiums in the other states have been and will be released by the individual State-based Marketplaces.

Rating decisions are specific to each state and the dynamics of their market. Due to competition, the issuer offering the benchmark plan can change year to year. For 2016, over two thirds of counties will have three or more issuers.

Total Plan Selections at End of 2015 Open Enrollment:

  • HealthCare.gov – 8,838,291
  • Florida – 1,596,296
  • 30 Select Market Average – 5,391,167
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg – 258,803
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