Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Release 2018 Health Plan Rates and Tools for Shopping the Marketplace
(LANSING) The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) today released the approved health plans and premium rates for the 2018 open enrollment period, which begins November 1, 2017.
“We recognize that with all of the uncertainty and subsidy changes from the federal government, it’s important to get these rates out prior to the November 1 deadline,” said DIFS Director Patrick McPharlin. “This allows more time for Michigan residents to shop for a new plan and seek help if there are questions about their current plan.”
Michigan has eight health carriers participating on the Marketplace. Health Alliance Plan (HAP) notified DIFS that they were withdrawing from the individual Marketplace for 2018. This withdrawal will impact approximately 9,100 consumers. With eight insurance companies still offering plans for the 2018 plan year, Michigan’s robust Marketplace is among the top 10 states for number of participating companies. All counties in the state will have at least two insurers to choose from.
DIFS completed the review of health insurance rate change requests for the individual and small group markets and approved the requested rate increases which affect just over 706,000 Michiganders. As in prior years, DIFS conducted a thorough examination of each company’s rate change request. This examination included review of public comments following the posting of the rate change requests. Credentialed actuaries evaluated the rates, consistent with rate review requirements, to ensure compliance with State and Federal laws. The average increase is 27% in the individual market and 4% in the small group market.
DIFS has updated its Rate Change Request Charts to include the final approved rate changes for each company.
Consumers shopping for coverage through the Marketplace can apply online at www.healthcare.gov, by mail, over the phone at 800-318-2596 or in person with the help of a local assister. Consumers shopping for coverage outside of the Marketplace can do so by contacting insurance companies directly or with the assistance of a licensed insurance agent. A list of companies that sell major medical coverage can be found through the DIFS website.
Consumers need to enroll in a health insurance plan by December 15, 2017.
Key Dates for Open Enrollment
- November 1, 2017: Start of Open Enrollment - first day of enrollment in a 2018 insurance plan.
- December 15, 2017: Open Enrollment ends.
- December 31, 2017: Coverage ends for 2017 Marketplace plans.
- January 1, 2018: Coverage can begin for 2018 Marketplace plans.
Anyone who purchased health insurance through the Marketplace last year will be auto-enrolled in the same plan unless they select a different plan by December 15. If an insurer is discontinuing a plan, those currently in the plan will be auto-enrolled into a similar plan by the same insurer. Individuals whose current health insurer is not offering coverage through the Marketplace for 2018 for example, the 9,100 Michiganders affected by HAP’s decision to withdraw from the Marketplace, will need to select a plan from a different insurer by December 15, 2017. Those not doing so will be automatically enrolled into a similar plan with a different insurer unless they opt out of the coverage.
“Rates are increasing across all plan levels. It is important to shop and find the plan that best fits you and your family,” added McPharlin.
Window shopping is now open on healthcare.gov. Window Shopping allows consumers to preview 2018 plans and prices before Open Enrollment begins on November 1st. DIFS offers tools, guides, and resources on their website which is available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the DIFS Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program’s (HICAP) website, www.michigan.gov/hicap. This site contains information on the Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act. HICAP also has a toll-free number, 877-999-6442, for consumers who wish to speak to someone about their questions or concerns.