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Health Insurers File Almost 300 Health Plans for Sale on the DC Exchange

Friday, June 7, 2013

Health Insurers File Almost 300 Health Plans for Sale on the DC Exchange

Proposed rates range broadly for residents, small businesses

Washington, DC - Four major insurance companies have submitted proposed rates for approval for nearly 300 health-insurance plans for sale on the DC Health Benefit Exchange, providing residents and small businesses with a broad range of choices and prices when the exchange opens Oct. 1.

The insurers – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and United HealthCare – have proposed rates for individuals, families and small businesses. These rates are largely in line with current premiums for policies in the market today.
Here are some of the proposed rates for each of the four tiers of coverage, starting with bronze, the level with lowest premiums and highest out of pocket costs, through silver, gold and platinum:

  • A 27-year-old can buy a bronze plan for as little as $124 and a platinum plan for as little as $249 a month
  • For a 40-year-old, the lowest bronze premium would be $166 and platinum $333 a month;
  • For a 55-year-old, the lowest rates would be $296 to $591 a month; and
  • Small businesses in the District could buy a bronze plan for a 27-year-old employee for as little as $144 a month and a platinum plan for a 55-year-old for as little as $572 a month.

For more rates and information, visit this link.

Consumers will also get better benefits for their money. The Affordable Care Act, the federal health-care law, requires all insurance plans sold for 2014 to cover a set of essential health benefits including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health and substance use treatment. Insurers will no longer be allowed to reject people with pre-existing conditions or charge them more for coverage.  Preventive tests for cancer, diabetes, and other conditions must be covered without cost-sharing.

Consumers and small businesses shopping in the DC Exchange will be able to compare options and choose the policy that best meets their needs and budgets. Many people with low and moderate incomes will qualify for help paying their premiums through new federal tax credits available to those who shop in the Exchange.  Some small businesses will also be eligible for tax credits that will reduce their cost of coverage for themselves and their employees.

The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking will review the rates to ensure they are justified. Once the department approves final rates, consumers and employers will know the exact range of prices available in October.

“We’re extremely pleased that health insurers are telling us they plan to provide a broad range of policies to fit every uninsured person and small business,” said William P. White, commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. “High-quality insurance is crucial to the health of our citizens, and the Health Benefit Exchange will help ensure everybody in the District is finally covered at a reasonable price.”

“Based on these proposed rates, every resident and every business owner who comes to the DC  Exchange this fall will have a robust selection of insurance policies and a wide range of prices. I look forward to working with Commissioner White in making sure these rates are fair” said Mila Kofman, JD, executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange.