Check out our compilation of what’s happening in the WA small group health insurance market this year: what’s in, what’s out, common trends, enhancements, take-aways, and more.
We are all burning the midnight oil at this point in Q4. Hang in there…. Here’s a quick run-down of some benefit trends that we are seeing as carriers and Trusts come out with their new plans.
Plans going away
Plans are going into the “round file”. The leaders of the pack are Aetna and United, who seem to be deleting plans throughout low, medium, and high deductible levels.
Some plans with smaller networks and/or PCP-required referrals are going the way of the dinosaur.
New plans added
Although more than 20 plans are going away, we are seeing a number of new plans being added. As would be expected, most of them have deductibles on the higher end of the spectrum.
A few more Trust plans are splitting into separate business segmentations, where the plan offerings, plan names, or renewal dates are diverging.
Some nice enhancements are appearing. I especially like to see that more services are being covered before having to meet pretty high annual deductible limits.
Telehealth is being added by more and more carriers/trusts, through various external vendors.
There were already a number of programs that included Telehealth, and will continue to do so. These include AWB, Aetna, Kaiser, Premera, and United. Member cost for accessing Telehealth continues to have a wide range depending on the carrier/trust and in some cases the plan elected under that carrier/trust. NonHSA plans range anywhere from a copay of $0 to $50, with the most common being a $10 copay. Most HSA plans require the member meet their deductible first, then cover at the plan’s coinsurance level.
Plan take aways
A number of plans are increasing deductibles, out of pocket maximums, copays, etc. We noticed two sweeping reductions in benefits that are occurring on the Aetna plans this year.
Trusts on the move
On a final note, some Trusts (and even one direct carrier) are moving their non-medical programs to new insurance carrier partners.
Phew! I am sure I have not captured all the changes going on out there, since there seem to be so many moving pieces this year….
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I love numbers. I'm a math geek. I read benefits industry articles and periodicals for relaxation (but, honestly, I'm still a fun gal). I also like to share what I've learned and you'll find it all here.