Health Insurance Changes for 2017

Health Insurance rate increases for 2017 are estimated to be the highest yet with Blue Cross Blue Shield reporting a potential 58% health insurance premium rate increase and Humana a 45% potential health insurance rate increase on their individual market plans. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2014 we have seen health insurance premiums quickly rise, health insurance plans become limited, and health care provider networks shrink. Some companies, like United Healthcare, have opted to leave the individual health insurance market all together in Texas; that includes plans on and off the health insurance Marketplace also known as the health care exchange or HealthCare.gov. You can read more about the 2017 health insurance changes here

What does this mean for you? 

You need to shop plans every year. We tell our clients that they need to create a reoccurring event in their calendar to be talking to us about their health insurance options around the end of November/beginning of December every year. We also caution our clients about health insurance plans that seem too good to be true because more than likely they are. 

 

As the changes keep coming, so do the “alternative” health insurance options other agents offer called limited benefit plans. They are simply that – plans offering limited benefits. Sometimes we enroll clients in these plans because they are the best fit for them, but often times they are not the best option and leave people paying tax penalties at the end of the year for not having the required insurance (Qualified Health Plan). 

What are we doing? 

Right now, outside of the open enrollment period (November 1st through January 31st), we are moving as many clients as possible to a Humana Group/Employer sponsored health insurance plan. Humana is leading the group health insurance industry by removing the group health insurance employee participation requirements and the group health insurance employer contribution requirements for small groups that the other group health insurance carriers have in place. Humana has made it so easy to enroll as a group that you simply need a Tax ID and one employee in addition to the owner. Humana’s group health insurance premium rates are usually better than what we see on the individual health insurance market and Humana offers incentives to start saving an additional 10% by your second month of coverage. 

 

To gear up for the 2017 health insurance open enrollment period November 1st throughJanuary 31st we are contracting with every health insurance carrier in Texas in order to offer our clients the best possible health insurance coverage, staying current on health care changes, and maintaining transparency with our clients. Things in the health insurance industry are constantly changing and we continue to adapt. What makes us different from most insurance agents is that we are a collaborative team that works to solve obstacles before they even come up. We have daily strategy meetings to ensure that we are doing the best for our clients. Our clients have been trusting us since 1983. That trust is in our actions. Even though the health insurance premiums go up, the insurance carriers continue to bring our income down and sometimes don’t pay us at all . . .  We continue to survive the health insurance changes alongside our clients because of the hard work and integrity we put into doing business. We truly value our client relationships and our clients truly value our expertise.