It’s no secret that health insurance is getting more and more complex each year with many changes and proposed rules. So you inevitably might be wondering what changes to expect and what they mean to you, especially when it comes to your health insurance costs and benefits in 2020.
Our experts have weighed in to give us their best predictions of what to expect next year. Let’s break them down.
In the early years of the Affordable Care Act, enrollees often saw a 10% annual increase in their policy rates nationwide. That’s because many insurance company actuaries originally had to make educated guesses on how plan enrollees would use their benefits. Insurance companies, in turn, took a financial hit because they underestimated the usage of benefits.
Obamacare marketplaces have since settled because insurance companies now have a large dataset to finally understand and predict how plan enrollees use their benefits. With this in mind, insurance companies can better predict member costs and adjust premiums to reflect these predictions.
In 2019, the premium increases for Obamacare were relatively modest for the second straight year, with the lowest overall increase since the marketplaces came into effect in 2014.
The premiums for the second lowest cost silver tiered plan, which is used as a benchmark to establish the subsidies for lower income individuals, also dropped by 1.5% in 39 states relying on HealthCare.gov for the first time since the marketplaces were established in 2014.
Enrollment also largely held steady, dropping by only 2.6% nationwide, despite widespread concerns about the Trump administration’s cuts to outreach and marketing efforts and an overall increase in the number of people who were uninsured.
It’s predicted that medical costs will be the main driver of rates in 2020, with an increase ranging from 4 to 8%.
New Hampshire: 1.1%
New Jersey: 8.6%
New Mexico: 0.9%
New York: 6.8%
North Carolina: -5.3%
North Dakota: -7.9%
Rhode Island: 0.8%
South Carolina: -1.9%
South Dakota: 6.5%
West Virginia: 6.7%
While rate changes play a major role for consumers when choosing a health insurance plan, healthcare law changes are becoming a vital factor.
Since 2014, there has been a constant stream of attempts to alter the Affordable Care Act by Members of Congress who believe that it’s not the right solution for affordable health insurance. Parties on both sides of the aisle are now aiming to change the ACA, whether it’s “Medicare for All” from the left, or repeal and replace from the right.
With the 2020 presidential election campaign in full swing, many democratic candidates are suggesting the implementation of a Medicare for All law - proposal specifics will vary depending on which proposal you read. The main idea is that all Americans would be able to enroll in Medicare and would receive a set of benefits provided through the Federal Government. If at all similar to current Medicare, which serves those 65 and older or permanently disabled, enrollees would be allowed to purchase supplemental plans to offset additional costs and provide greater benefits.
Although Medicare For All has a lot of support in the House, there is a significant uphill battle to fight it in the Senate. And as long as President Trump is in office, it likely won’t be signed.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, the Republicans have been pushing for an option to replace the Affordable Care Act for the better part of a decade. They’ve had some political victories, like the defunding of the risk corridor and setting a $0 penalty for being uninsured, but they’ve yet to completely repeal the ACA.
The general public who support the ACA have shown that fully repealing Obamacare could be politically disastrous. Plus, a replacement would need to be developed to get the votes needed. The President has tasked Senators Cassidy and Scott to create a replacement bill that will be able to pass. Given the history of ACA replacement bills, this has yet to be seen.
A pending case in front of the Supreme Court, brought by the Attorney Generals from certain conservative states, may affect the Affordable Care Act in the near future. The case claims that Congress doesn’t have the authority to enforce the ACA without a penalty for the individual mandate.
A Texas Federal Judge has initially ruled that the law is unconstitutional, but the decision was halted while the Supreme Court decides on how to rule.
For now, the Supreme Court has not deemed the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional, so you should shop around and compare ACA plans for 2020 as usual.
However, even if Congress passes a repeal and replace bill in the next year, it’s unlikely that those changes would go into effect until the following year. Either way, we’re here to help you through any scenario.
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