Author Topic: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?  (Read 1510 times)

Mrbeardedbigbucks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Age: 45
  • Location: NH
Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:14:24 PM »
My planned FIRE date is March 2018 and I've been patiently waiting for healthcare.gov to publish the 2018 premiums. It looks as if the 2018 premiums and deductibles have decreased if you qualify for tax credit. See below.

The same Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Silver level plan:

2017
                 
$272   monthly premium                         
$1700 deductible                                   
$3700 max out of pocket     

2018
$128   monthly premium                   
$1500 deductible
$2900 max out of pocket


Am I doing something wrong (very possible) or is healthcare.gov not 100% accurate right now?
I know that premiums have likely gone up for those who don't qualify for tax credits but I didn't expect premiums and deductibles to decrease for anyone.

I could also get a Bronze plan for only $1.55 per month with a $12700 deductible, max $14700. Last years comparable Bronze was $185 per month, $12700 deductible.

If you're inclined to check the estimates here's my data:  44yo male, 39 yo female, no dependents. I'm estimating our AGI to be around 32k. Zip is 03104

There's probably a simple answer to this but the ACA is so convoluted right now. It looks too good to be true.

Your input is appreciated. Thanks everyone.








MoneyRx

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: USA
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 10:05:30 PM »
Does it show what the premiums are without the subsidies? It's possible your income is placing you in a higher subsidized position than last year.
Premiums are based on the risk of the population in your zip code/county so it is also possible that it was a relatively low risk area and they overestimated costs last year.

Mrbeardedbigbucks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Age: 45
  • Location: NH
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 05:10:39 AM »
Does it show what the premiums are without the subsidies? It's possible your income is placing you in a higher subsidized position than last year.
Premiums are based on the risk of the population in your zip code/county so it is also possible that it was a relatively low risk area and they overestimated costs last year.

Yes, the premiums without subsidies for a silver plan in 2017 is $656, 2018 $949. That's almost a 45% increase for 2018 if you're not getting subsidies but a 53% decrease if you're getting subsidies with a 32k income.  That seems very lopsided.

I believe it was expected that unsubsidized plans would increase by 34% on average nationally but subsidized plans should not see an increase because the tax credits would offset any increase. I figured monthly premiums would stay about the same, not go down by 53%.

I'm definitely not complaining. I'll take the lower monthly premium and lower deductible but with all the media hype that 2018 ACA premiums would sky rocket, it's a shock to see the monthly subsidized premium go down by so much.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 05:19:58 AM »
i'm seeing the same thing when i use it to estimate ours.  Premiums are lower due to increased subsidies its pretty awesome how the states have figured out how to milk the federal govt for more money for their citizens

your state has crazy better plans than my state does though silver plans are pretty comprable to bronze so we will stick with bronze if healthcare looks anything like this in 5 years.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 05:21:36 AM by boarder42 »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 05:25:57 AM »
basically what the states did was jack up the silver plan prices which is what subsidies are based on

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-state-by-state-guide-to-those-wonky-obamacare-payments-you-keep-hearing-about/?ex_cid=SigDig


Mrbeardedbigbucks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Age: 45
  • Location: NH
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 08:04:33 AM »
basically what the states did was jack up the silver plan prices which is what subsidies are based on

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-state-by-state-guide-to-those-wonky-obamacare-payments-you-keep-hearing-about/?ex_cid=SigDig



Thanks for that link. It’s starting to make more sense. I investigated further and found the “silver switcharoo” concept. Despite this manipulation, it still seems crazy that premiums could drop by 53%.

Now I’m wondering if these prices are baked for all of 2018 or can they raise premiums at any time. Can and will the president use an executive order to prevent states from doing this.


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 08:36:19 AM »
basically what the states did was jack up the silver plan prices which is what subsidies are based on

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-state-by-state-guide-to-those-wonky-obamacare-payments-you-keep-hearing-about/?ex_cid=SigDig



Thanks for that link. It’s starting to make more sense. I investigated further and found the “silver switcharoo” concept. Despite this manipulation, it still seems crazy that premiums could drop by 53%.

Now I’m wondering if these prices are baked for all of 2018 or can they raise premiums at any time. Can and will the president use an executive order to prevent states from doing this.

there is a whole thread about What comes after the ACA where people are discussing all of this if you'd like to join that discussion it would probably help and you may get more direct responses from people who are studying this.  Or it may make sense to make an overall 2018 ACA plans thread where everyone can pile in and ask questions. and help eachother.

dandarc

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3358
  • Age: 36
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 08:49:35 AM »
Ugh.  Our Insurance is going up over $100 / month next year.  Wonderful.  Odd though - the deductible for the HSA eligible plan went down $700.  Not enough to off-set the premium, but probably explains some of the increase.  At least I can pay via credit card at CVS.

I see what you're saying - huge jump from Bronze to Silver - $450 / over 50%.  Incremental from Silver to Gold - actually the "Gold" plan is priced in the middle of the "Silver" plans.  Large jump to platinum - Under $400.

Mrbeardedbigbucks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Age: 45
  • Location: NH
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 01:03:37 PM »
basically what the states did was jack up the silver plan prices which is what subsidies are based on

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-state-by-state-guide-to-those-wonky-obamacare-payments-you-keep-hearing-about/?ex_cid=SigDig



Thanks for that link. It’s starting to make more sense. I investigated further and found the “silver switcharoo” concept. Despite this manipulation, it still seems crazy that premiums could drop by 53%.

Now I’m wondering if these prices are baked for all of 2018 or can they raise premiums at any time. Can and will the president use an executive order to prevent states from doing this.

there is a whole thread about What comes after the ACA where people are discussing all of this if you'd like to join that discussion it would probably help and you may get more direct responses from people who are studying this.  Or it may make sense to make an overall 2018 ACA plans thread where everyone can pile in and ask questions. and help eachother.

Great, found that thread. I'll follow along. Looks like the discussion has evolved into the 2018 pricing of the plans.


Ugh.  Our Insurance is going up over $100 / month next year.  Wonderful.  Odd though - the deductible for the HSA eligible plan went down $700.  Not enough to off-set the premium, but probably explains some of the increase.  At least I can pay via credit card at CVS.

I see what you're saying - huge jump from Bronze to Silver - $450 / over 50%.  Incremental from Silver to Gold - actually the "Gold" plan is priced in the middle of the "Silver" plans.  Large jump to platinum - Under $400.

How do you pay via credit card at CVS? We'll be signing up for ACA health care next year. I've yet to investigate how to pay the premiums.

dandarc

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3358
  • Age: 36
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 01:32:47 PM »
How do you pay via credit card at CVS? We'll be signing up for ACA health care next year. I've yet to investigate how to pay the premiums.
FloridaBlue has some deal with some company that lets it happen this way.  All of what I'm about to write may vary by insurer, but this is my experience.  I was able to pay the initial premium online via credit card once the "pay your binder" option was available at healthcare.gov, but I was under the impression that subsequent payments would have to be ACH.  Logged on to the website to set that up, and noticed this "Print your barcode" option.  Read the details on that, and basically they have some deal with a handful of retailers for this.

Quote
CVS/pharmacy® (except Target® locations) and Navarro accept cash, credit card and debit cards (checks not accepted). Dollar General accepts cash and debit cards only. Family Dollar accepts cash only. Your payment will be applied to your account within 5 business days.

Went to CVS with barcode in hand, and it really was that easy - they scan the barcode, you tell them what your premium is, then you pay - they did accept the credit card.  No additional fee.

Edit to add:
Quote
Your payment is due by the due date on your bill. Payments received after your due date do not guarantee that your policy will remain active. CVS can accept payments from $1 to $999 per 24 hours and Dollar General can accept payments of up to $500 per transaction and $1 to $999 per 24 hours. Please contact Florida Blue for questions about the premium due or the status of your account, as retail sales associates cannot look up your account information.

Quote
Attention Sales Associate: Scan the barcode above, enter the amount the customer wishes to pay and tender the transaction as normal.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 01:35:25 PM by dandarc »

Mrbeardedbigbucks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Age: 45
  • Location: NH
Re: Why would 2018 ACA monthly premiums decrease in my state?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 04:39:32 PM »
How do you pay via credit card at CVS? We'll be signing up for ACA health care next year. I've yet to investigate how to pay the premiums.
FloridaBlue has some deal with some company that lets it happen this way.  All of what I'm about to write may vary by insurer, but this is my experience.  I was able to pay the initial premium online via credit card once the "pay your binder" option was available at healthcare.gov, but I was under the impression that subsequent payments would have to be ACH.  Logged on to the website to set that up, and noticed this "Print your barcode" option.  Read the details on that, and basically they have some deal with a handful of retailers for this.

Quote
CVS/pharmacy® (except Target® locations) and Navarro accept cash, credit card and debit cards (checks not accepted). Dollar General accepts cash and debit cards only. Family Dollar accepts cash only. Your payment will be applied to your account within 5 business days.

Went to CVS with barcode in hand, and it really was that easy - they scan the barcode, you tell them what your premium is, then you pay - they did accept the credit card.  No additional fee.

Edit to add:
Quote
Your payment is due by the due date on your bill. Payments received after your due date do not guarantee that your policy will remain active. CVS can accept payments from $1 to $999 per 24 hours and Dollar General can accept payments of up to $500 per transaction and $1 to $999 per 24 hours. Please contact Florida Blue for questions about the premium due or the status of your account, as retail sales associates cannot look up your account information.

Quote
Attention Sales Associate: Scan the barcode above, enter the amount the customer wishes to pay and tender the transaction as normal.

Good to know. Thanks for the info. Perhaps my insurance provider will have some kind of arrangement like that in NH.