Observations on the 2016 FFM Open Enrollment Period

Observations on the 2016 FFM Open Enrollment Period


1. In spite of promises from Washington, the price savings per family is not $2,500. In fact, many have experienced huge increases in premiums, and possibly more detrimentally… Large out-of-pocket obligations.

2. The narrow provider network plans for 2016 are priced more competitively than broad provider network plans but they are difficult for most consumers to understand the network restrictions. When it's been proven that folks are purchasing by price, one has to ask what the ramifications are for being in a plan for 12 months that may not offer adequate provider coverage. I see many claims inquiry calls in our near future!

3. Insurance purchasing from the marketplace is NOT as easy as purchasing an airline ticket. Many never believed it would be.

4. Everyone is mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore! I can't exclude myself from this category. Consumers are shell-shocked by pricing and the less-than-stellar plan offerings. Many consumers were anxious to get rates on opening day November 1st but waited until the very last minute to make a purchase because they felt there were no affordable or attractive offerings. What will next year bring?

5. I've heard more this year than the previous two that "I'll just pay the tax penalty" because purchasing a plan would be financially detrimental to them. Of course, the biggest issue is that these folks may save money by paying the penalty but ultimately they are uninsured and vulnerable to large claims exposure.

6. Wrong, wrong, wrong... If I had a nickel every time we received "bad" information from sources that should be in the know, my income would be well above any subsidy level! Who will protect the consumer from this poor information? Fewer Agents are offering assistance in this market which means fewer sources of accurate information.

At the core of my observations is that the health insurance world is not getting any easier to maneuver. Consumers must be protected and for as long as possible, we'll be here to fight the good fight!

I value your comments and feedback below and would appreciate hearing your experiences this enrollment season. Also, if you have subjects you would like covered in future posts, such as Employer Reporting – it would be great to hear about them too!

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Comments

 
David Ranck on Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:38

One of our clients wrote a letter to Rep Joe Pitts and he talked about her comments from the floor. The reason I mention this we need more of our clients to write their congressmen or women to voice their frustration. We have no voice because we do not speak up.

One of our clients wrote a letter to Rep Joe Pitts and he talked about her comments from the floor. The reason I mention this we need more of our clients to write their congressmen or women to voice their frustration. We have no voice because we do not speak up.
Deb Wilkinson on Thursday, 04 February 2016 07:40

Dave, I agree. We have a "tiger-lady" in NEPA territory that is making her voice heard. She is also having her clients contact their representatives. URL has made numerous trips to the PID and discussed our concerns as well. It's definitely important to speak up!

Dave, I agree. We have a "tiger-lady" in NEPA territory that is making her voice heard. She is also having her clients contact their representatives. URL has made numerous trips to the PID and discussed our concerns as well. It's definitely important to speak up!
Karsten Meier on Thursday, 04 February 2016 10:52

Just that I agree 100% with all the above!

Just that I agree 100% with all the above!
Deb Wilkinson on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 14:37

Karsten, thank you for telling me I'm 100% correct! You DID mean that, right? Just kidding. Thank you for your comment!

Karsten, thank you for telling me I'm 100% correct! You DID mean that, right? Just kidding. Thank you for your comment!
Marjorie Ingles on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:38

I was very upset with the problems with several Insurance Companies. With Highmark taking a "year off", they knew they were going to be deluged with applications and there were many very serious mistakes that should never have happened.

I was very upset with the problems with several Insurance Companies. With Highmark taking a "year off", they knew they were going to be deluged with applications and there were many very serious mistakes that should never have happened.
Deb Wilkinson on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 14:38

Marjie, it's definitely been a challenging year all around. I'm not sure what 2017 will bring with Open Enrollment! Let's hope it's much improved from this year's experience!

Marjie, it's definitely been a challenging year all around. I'm not sure what 2017 will bring with Open Enrollment! Let's hope it's much improved from this year's experience!
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