A bumpy ride for Enhanced Silver plan holders come 2015?

More Affordable Care Act news, this from Avalere Health.

Something I hadn’t thought a lot about, but what happens when the “Second Lowest Cost Silver” (SLS) plan in 2014, is no longer second for 2015? What happens if a rival firm comes in with a plan on the Marketplace that underbids the former second-place offering? Or simply that the plan you’ve picked goes up a higher percentage than others on the plan? It will go up simply for the fact that you are one year older than you were.

Avalere builds a few examples that show some premium shock if people aren’t careful about what is going on with their plan, AND with other plans sitting on the Marketplace.

Reading through the document, I felt a bit like this was yet another Obamacare Horror Story (OMG!!!!!) that we were treated to / bombarded with for the past three years. If more insurance companies are entering the exchanges (the Marketplace), it is likely that your second-lowest cost Silver plan may not be the APTC credit setter (“subsidy” setter) that it was for 2014. But what it may also mean is that new competition is going to make your Silver plan more competitive. Costs might not go up, because your insurer still wants that business, and not have a rival firm muscle in.

I would be happy to stick with the Highmark plan I have, even if it isn’t second-lowest cost Silver for Lancaster County in 2015. I would hope that Highmark would be clever enough to adjust the offering to keep Marketplace participants in their plan. But compared to how insurance was prior to New Year’s Day 2014, the fact that prices are going to adjust—and that you may hit rate shock if you aren’t paying attention—are small beans compared to the horrible insurance world of 2013.

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