Sep 28 2017

The Individual Market in 2018: Steep Renewals and Fewer Options!

With open enrollment season looming just around the corner and memory of individual healthcare premiums increasing by an average of 17 percent in Louisiana in 2017, you may be wondering what is to come for 2018! Unfortunately, the forecast for 2018 individual market renewals includes even steeper percentage increases and fewer plan offerings.

Humana will exit the individual market nationwide at the end of 2017. Louisiana is one of the 11 states where they still offered individual market plans in 2017, but those plans will no longer be available in 2018, leaving three insurers offering coverage to exchange participants.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana members will be receiving around a 35 percent increase for Blue Saver plans, and a 31 percent increase for Blue Max plans. Individuals on statewide and skinny network plans through HMO Louisiana can expect around a 15 percent increase, and Vantage Health Plan members will face an uptick of about 28 percent in premium cost.

While small businesses are not mandated to offer health coverage to their employees, the financial advantages of the small group market in comparison to the individual is likely to lead to a trending increase in small group offerings. On average in 2017, group insurance was 25 percent cheaper than individual health insurance. The chart below compares pricing for a non-subsidized 4-person family between the individual and small group markets in 2017.

  Individual

Copay 80/60 $1000

Small Group

Copay 80/60 $1000

35 Year Old $519.14 $392.58
30 Year Old Dependent $482.18 $365.56
5 Year Old Dependent $269.77 $204.52
3 Year Old Dependent $269.77 $204.52
Monthly Total for Family $1,540.86 $1,167.18

Small group rates for 2018 will be available October 1, 2017 and individual market rates on November 1, 2017. Benefit Adminstration Group is here to help you sort through the ins and outs of both markets and figure out what option is ideal for you in the coming new year!