In The News > What Will Health Insurance Look Like in 2020?

What Will Health Insurance Look Like in 2020?

red heart and stethoscope earpiece arranged to look like the year 2020

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.

Can we expect to see Obamacare rate changes in 2020?

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 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%.

Average premium increases for 2020

Alabama: 3.9%

Alaska: -0.1%

Arizona: -2.4%

Arkansas: -2.1%

California: 0.8%

Colorado: -18.2%

Connecticut: 7.8%

Delaware: -19.5%

DC: 9.0%

Florida: 0.0%

Georgia: 2.4%

Hawaii: -1.0%

Idaho: 7.0%

Illinois: 1.4%

Indiana: 9.0%

Iowa: -3.3%

Kansas: -3.1%

Kentucky: 5.0%

Louisiana: 11.7%

Maine: -1.6%

Maryland: -2.9%

Massachusetts: 4.5%

Michigan: -2.5%

Minnesota: 1.6%

Mississippi: 2.7%

Missouri: -1.8%

Montana: -13.1%

Nebraska: -5.3%

Nevada: 1.0%

New Hampshire: 1.1%

New Jersey: 8.6%

New Mexico: 0.9%

New York: 6.8%

North Carolina: -5.3%

North Dakota: -7.9%

Ohio: -7.7%

Oklahoma: 1.4%

Oregon: 2.3%

Pennsylvania: 4.6%

Rhode Island: 0.8%

South Carolina: -1.9%

South Dakota: 6.5%

Tennessee: -1.1%

Texas: 0.8%

Utah: -5.9%

Vermont: 11.5%

Virginia: -3.6%

Washington: 1.0%

West Virginia: 6.7%

Wisconsin: -3.2%

Wyoming: 1.6%

Will there be changes to healthcare laws?

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.

Medicare for All

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.

Repeal and replace

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.

Supreme Court ruling

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.

What are my options?

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.

What you should read next

Our latest national consumer survey reaching 1,000 registered voters measured feelings about the U.S. healthcare system, the U.S. economy during the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Presidential election and telemedicine. The survey comes at a crucial decision-making time of the year when the U.S. Presidential election, health insurance open enrollment period, and the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period are fast approaching for many Americans. The United States Healthcare System When rating the U.S. healthcare system: 36% said fair. 27% said good. 24% said poor. 11% said excellent. 2% were unsure. When asked if our healthcare system has changed for the better or worse due to COVID-19: 45% felt it was unchanged. 33% felt it was worse. 14% said it was better. 8% were unsure. Also of note, 69% said giving more control to patients and doctors is the key to improving the United States healthcare system. Meanwhile, 11% chose giving more control to government officials and bureaucrats. And 20% were not sure how to improve it. Participants were also asked about the quality of U.S. healthcare services since the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) was enacted: 31% said the quality of healthcare has gone down, while 29% said it’s gone up. Lastly, 84% of our respondents said the cost of all health care services, procedures, and medications should be made available in advance to patients. The 2020 Presidential Election Our survey also honed in on what’s most important to people in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election: healthcare reform, the economy, civil rights, law and order, government corruption, and our response to COVID-19. Here’s how our participants responded: 95% said the U.S. economy is an important issue. 91% said government corruption is an important issue. 88% said our nation’s response to COVID-19 is an important issue. 88% said healthcare reform is an important issue. 86% said civil rights is an important issue. 85% said law and order is an important issue. Health Insurance in the United States Our survey also gauged feelings on an array of health insurance and employment topics, including consumer feelings about health insurance, a proposal to ban private insurance, and COVID-19 impacts on health insurance. When it comes to our respondents’ feelings on their health insurance: 38% rated their health insurance as good. 26% rated their health insurance as excellent. 23% rated their health insurance as fair. 10% rated their health insurance as poor. And when asked what type of health insurance has the best medical care coverage: 40% said employer-sponsored coverage. 21% said Medicare. 19% were unsure. 12% said Medicaid. 9% said Obamacare. Of note, 25% of our respondents have lost or know someone who lost their health insurance during COVID-19. For those who are employed, 38% are reluctant to switch jobs right now because they want to keep their current health insurance. Last but not least, the survey gauged a possible proposal to ban all private health insurance companies and require every American to get their coverage through the federal government. When asked about this concept, 15% of respondents strongly favored the proposal, while 35% were strongly opposed. As for the rest of the group, 19% were somewhat in favor and 18% were somewhat opposed to the proposal. Employment and Working From Home Our national survey also covered what’s important when considering or accepting a new job. In the “very important” category: 78% said salary. 66% said health insurance. 49% said time off. 33% said working from home. Although working from home has the lowest percentage on the “very important” scale, it turned out to be top-of-mind for some respondents. 49% felt that working remotely is better for overall health and well-being, and 40% would take a pay cut to work from home. Pulse Check on COVID-19 Testing Over the course of our survey series, we’ve gathered opinions about Coronavirus testing. Here are the latest findings: 60% were not worried about the cost of Coronavirus treatment - a decrease from the percentage we’ve seen over the past few months. 52% thought frequent COVID-19 testing is the best way to control the spread. 52% thought every child should be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. The Latest on Telemedicine Telemedicine use during the coronavirus pandemic is another topic we’ve kept an eye on. In our latest survey, 79% had not used telemedicine prior to the pandemic, but 43% have used telemedicine during the pandemic. While highlighting several advantages of telemedicine versus visiting a doctor in person, we asked our respondents which telemedicine perk is most appealing to them. 55% said avoiding the waiting room. 47% said convenient scheduling. 47% said the wait times were better. 38% said getting care from home. Full Current Events in the United States Survey Results Click here to download the full results. Our Survey Methodology The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 registered voters, which was conducted September 4 - 8, 2020. The survey has margin of sampling error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. See More Surveys August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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Telemedicine usage, financial insecurity, healthcare technology, and a digital detox: These are just some of the topics we covered in our most recent COVID-19 survey. But this time, we heard from a multigenerational mix of millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. And the results were pretty eye-opening. Multigenerational Survey Highlights Telemedicine Usage and COVID-19: Now vs. Then Across the three generations, 60% are more comfortable with using telemedicine now than they were six months ago overall. Gen X stood out as the age group that was the most comfortable with using telemedicine. 54% of our multigenerational respondents plan to use telemedicine with the coronavirus pandemic is over. Once again, GenXers were most receptive to this virtual healthcare alternative. 52% have had their doctors encourage a telemedicine appointment versus an in-office visit. COVID-19 and the Digital World Across the three generations, 71% of our respondents have found themselves on the computer or phone more frequently during the pandemic. So it’s no surprise that 39% feel they need a “digital detox” now more than ever. Millennials, especially, felt the need to take a break from scrolling Instagram feeds or sending memes to friends: 51% would take the digital detox. And how about the use of streaming devices, social media platforms, wearables, and online retailers during COVID-19? Here are the popular picks across the three generations: Binge Watching: 27% are watching their favorite shows from their Smart TVs. Social Media: 61% are using Facebook the most. And it’s especially a fan favorite for 75% of our Baby Boomer respondents. Wearable Technology: 47% use wearables to monitor their health. 25% of them are using the Apple Watch to track their fitness activity. Online Shopping: 72% are shopping online more frequently than they did before the pandemic. (Our guess is Amazon, Instacart, and maybe a little UberEats). Coronavirus Vaccine, Masks and More Across the three generations, 87% are comfortable having their temperatures checked before entering an establishment. 69% will get a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available. 41% feel that masks are the most effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The State of Healthcare, Economy and Finances During COVID-19 Across the three generations, 82% feel the U.S. healthcare system is broken, and 35% feel it will take 2 years for our economy to recover from COVID-19. 77% have made efforts to support small businesses during COVID-19, while 53% feel that small businesses will recover after the pandemic. 51% have experienced financial insecurity due to COVID-19, which could be why 43% have put off medical care due to cost concerns. Full Multigenerational Survey Results Click here to download the complete multigenerational survey results broken down by generation. Multigenerational Survey Methodology The above multigenerational survey results were gathered through an online poll of 1,595 Americans aged 24-74. The poll was conducted August 6-7, 2020, gleaning representative samples from each state based on population. Samples were weighted for even sample results for Millennials (ages 24-39), Gen X (ages 40-55) and Baby Boomers (ages 56-74). Percentages have been rounded to the nearest full percentage point. Explore More Survey Findings July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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Our previous surveys have paid close attention to how COVID-19 is impacting our economy, mental health, telemedicine usage, self-care and more. But our most recent survey focuses on an important group: Seniors. In our Medicare Eligible Seniors survey, more than 1,000 Americans ages 64 and up weighed in on life during the Coronavirus pandemic, their use of technology, their Medicare plans, their feelings toward the 2020 election, and more. Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Results One important takeaway from this survey is that seniors are embracing technology in new ways during the coronavirus pandemic. More than half of the respondents agreed that they have been using technology more during the pandemic. Seniors are using technology for the following: Healthcare: they are receiving virtual care through telemedicine, ordering prescriptions online and monitoring their health through wearables. Information: they are using social media to stay informed on relevant news. Communication: they are staying in touch with family and friends via texting, phone calls, video chat, and social media. Entertainment: they are binge watching their favorite shows on smart TVs and streaming devices. Technology Use Among Seniors in 2020 89% have a smartphone 83% use Facebook the most 75% have a smart TV or streaming device 73% use social media 68% have an iPad or other type of tablet 66% still have cable TV 61% feel they have embraced technology more during the COVID-19 pandemic 54% video chat with their kids and grandkids 50% have video chatted more since the start of COVID-19 47% binge watch shows 43% would wear a device that helped maintain appropriate social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic and alert others if they are too close 42% prefer talking on a cell phone as their method of communication 32% video chat with their friends 30% use social media to staying in touch with friends 29% prefer texting as their method of communication 28% monitor their health using a wearable (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.) 22% use social media to stay in touch with family 21% use social media for news 11% started using a smartphone or tablet during the pandemic Life During COVID-19 64% have only left the house to go food shopping or to the pharmacy during COVID-19 62% have you seen their kids or grandkids in person since mid-March 54% have put off a dentist appointment because of COVID-19 27% have left their house whenever they wanted during COVID-19 2020 Medicare Usage and Preferences 97% say their doctor accepts Medicare 84% are not looking to switch doctors because they don’t accept medicare 69% with a Medicare Advantage plan are happy with it 51% think the age to be eligible for Medicare should be lowered to 60 39% look for a Medicare a plan that accepts their doctor 37% think seniors who have a Medicare Advantage plan and who contract COVID-19 are getting better care 26% look for a Medicare plan with low monthly premiums and copays 26% intend to switch from an Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan in the next enrollment period 22% look for a medicare plan that has extra benefits (ie. dental, vision, hearing, fitness programs) 22% intend to change their prescription drug plan in the next enrollment period 20% plan to adjust their Medicare plan during the next annual enrollment period (Oct. 15 - Dec. 7) 12% used the special enrollment period to enroll in Medicare during COVID-19 Prescription Drugs 89% think prescription drug prices are too high 36% spend more than $50 a month on prescription drugs 34% order prescriptions from an online pharmacy Medical Costs 66% are worried about out-of-pocket costs 62% are you worried about receiving an unexpected medical bill 50% have money set aside for their children or family to use for their health needs 36% have put off seeing a doctor because of cost 35% are worried about contracting COVD-19 because they may be hit with a surprise bill Telemedicine Usage 68% of those who haven’t used telemedicine during COVID-19 say its because they haven’t needed to 58% have used telemedicine just once during COVID-19 44% have used telemedicine during COVID-19 43% intend on using telemedicine once COVID-19 passes 30% have used telemedicine once a month during COVID-19 10% used telemedicine before COVID-19 The 2020 Presidential Election 92% say lowering drug prices is an important topic in the upcoming election 84% haven’t seen the country more divided in their lifetime than it is now 68% say the economy and healthcare are the two most important issues to them in the 2020 election 58% will vote via mail-in ballot in November 42% will vote in person in November Methodology The above results were gathered through an online poll of more than 1,000 Medicare eligible Americans ages 64+. The poll was conducted from July 20, 2020 to July 21, 2020, gleaning representative samples from each state based on population. Explore More Survey Findings June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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