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Cost of middle-of-the-road Obamacare plan in NH may dip below $500/month next year

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 07. 2018 10:19AM
The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act in this 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman)

CONCORD — Early estimates of premiums for health insurance policies on the online exchange at suggest that after years of steady increases, rates for coverage in 2019 may be lower.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department used the predicted median premium for a silver-level plan covering a 40-year-old non-smoker for comparison.

For 2019, the median monthly premium for such a plan would be $470, compared to $504 for a similar plan in 2018.

If these preliminary rates are ultimately approved and are consistent across all plans, consumers could see a 6.75 percent decrease in 2019 compared to 2018 in the individual market.

“Despite uncertainty at the federal level, a modest decrease in premium rates for New Hampshire residents is a move in the right direction,” Insurance Commissioner John Elias said. “Rates are still high, particularly for residents who do not qualify for premium assistance, but we will continue to work collaboratively with insurance companies and pursue other efforts to improve market stability in New Hampshire.”

The 2019 rate information released by the federal government outlines proposed increases to plans that are submitted by insurance companies operating on

Final rate information for all plans by all providers is not available until Nov. 1, the first day of open enrollment on the exchange.

Three companies have indicated their intent to offer products on the exchange in 2019 for New Hampshire: Ambetter, Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim. They have until Sept. 25 to finalize that commitment.

“While other states are seeing the further collapse of their individual market, New Hampshire providers are anticipating a 6.75 percent decrease in the cost of premiums,” Gov. Chris Sununu said.

“This is a stark contrast to last year’s premium increase of over 50 percent and is due to our commitment to working with the industry to drive down premiums and make necessary changes to deliver real savings for the people of our state.”

Elias attributed the positive trend to a variety of factors, including moving the Medicaid expansion population off the online exchange and into a managed care program.

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