Those who are re-upping for state or federal exchange insurance for 2015 should do comparison shopping before automatically renewing the coverage they had in 2014. Thousands of plans are being offered this year that would enable customers to avoid cost increases in their 2014 plans without giving up any significant coverage.
That’s what a study of new plan offerings by HealthCare.com found when it reviewed the cost elements of nearly 43,000 2015 plans. In review those plans, HealthCare.com said 68 percent of them have announced premium increases for 2015. A further look into plan offerings suggests that most covered individuals could easily find a plan similar to what they have that would keep them at or below their 2014 premium level.
“The study found that 85.6 percent of the federal marketplace plans have at least one similar alternative plan available that would prevent a consumer from paying a premium increase, and would either hold medical deductibles steady or even decrease them in most cases,” HealthCare.com’s white paper on the subject said. “More than 70 percent of the federal marketplace plans have an average of 4.8 money-saving alternative plans available. And, on average, those plans can save consumers up to $703.32 a year.”
Many studies have confirmed that most folks who have coverage simply re-up for the same plan when possible, often incurring price increases. But those who do so often pay a price for their lazy attitude toward obtaining insurance.
A study by Avalere Health found that many who purchased silver plan coverage for 2014 might be able to get the same or better coverage for less in 2015 by shopping the bronze, gold and even platinum plans currently offered.
“The fact is, with 85 percent of the federal marketplace plans, there are money-saving alternatives available that may work just as well as a current plan,” said April Seifert, data innovation lead for HealthCare.com. “Many consumers will benefit from doing a little comparison shopping. And with all of the insurance shopping sites available, including HealthCare.com, it’s easier than ever to take a look at the plan options out there.”