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Published in Health Care

Average health insurance rates slightly higher as open enrollment starts Nov. 1

BY Friday, October 30, 2020 01:09pm

Health insurance open enrollment for 2021 starts Nov. 1 with small increases in rates for individual and small employer health care policies.

Rates that state regulators approved this week average 1.4 percent higher among the 16 insurance carriers participating in the small group insurance market in Michigan that covers nearly 425,000 people, according to the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

minick Pallone, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans COURTESY PHOTO

Rates average 1.1 percent more across the 11 health insurers selling individual policies that comply with the federal Affordable Care Act and are sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Open enrollment runs through Nov. 15.

“This is an important window for Michiganders who want to enroll or renew coverage, or make changes to their plan,” said Dominick Pallone, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans. “And it’s an opportunity for residents to re-evaluate their plan by shopping around and comparing premiums and benefits of other health plans.”

Among individual carriers, Grand Rapids-based Priority Health received regulatory approval for an average 2.6 percent increase in small group rates. Priority Health Insurance Co. received approval for a 1.5 percent rate increase for policies that begin Jan. 1.

Regulators approved a statewide average 0.9 percent increase for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan small group policies and a 1.9 percent increase for HMO subsidiary Blue Care Network.

Priority Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield dominate the West Michigan market for small group policies.

Statewide, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network combined have nearly 300,000 people enrolled in small group policies. Priority Health and Priority Health Insurance Co. collectively have nearly 60,000 small group enrollees, according to the state summary.

Detroit-based Health Alliance Plan, which is entering the West Michigan commercial health insurance market for 2021, received regulatory approval to lower rates a scant 0.1 percent for small employers with 50 or fewer employees. HAP has about 14,000 people enrolled on small group policies.

In the individual market, Priority Health’s rates will dip an average 0.1 percent for 2021 and Blue Cross Blue Shield’s will increase 1.7 percent. Blue Care Network received approval for an increase of 2.5 percent for individual policies.

The individual health insurance market in Michigan covers nearly 323,000 people.

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