State unveils 2018 options, insurers on health marketplace

Posted 10/2/17

The New York State of Health has unveiled the Qualified Health Plan and Essential Plan options that will be available to consumers in 2018 in the state health marketplace. Open enrollment in the …

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State unveils 2018 options, insurers on health marketplace

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The New York State of Health has unveiled the Qualified Health Plan and Essential Plan options that will be available to consumers in 2018 in the state health marketplace. Open enrollment in the plans will begin on Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31.

“NY State of Health remains strong, offering consumers in every corner of the state a choice of health plan options in 2018. In many cases, after tax credits, many consumers will find that their premiums will be lower in 2018 than they are today,” said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore. “As in past years, NY State of Health will have in-person enrollers and a staffed Customer Service Center ready to help consumers shop for the most affordable plan option.”

Twelve insurers will offer Qualified Health Plans on the individual marketplace in 2018. Individuals who qualify for federal tax credits to purchase a Qualified Health Plan will see premiums for comparable coverage decrease in 2018.

On average, consumers who select the most popular silver level plan will see a premium decrease by 5 percent. Consumers in the Capital District and Mid-Hudson regions, Western and Central New York, and Long Island will see larger decreases in premiums after tax credits when purchasing select silver level plans. Premiums for consumers in New York City after tax credits will remain relatively flat in 2018.

Fifteen insurers will offer the Essential Plan, a unique program for lower income New Yorkers. Monthly premiums for this plan will continue to be $20 per person or less. Five insurers will offer coverage on New York State of Health’s Small Business Marketplace, or SHOP.

New for this Open Enrollment Period, consumers will be able to access the recently launched NYS Provider & Health Plan Look-Up, an online tool that consumers can use to research provider networks and health plans. With this tool, consumers shopping for health insurance can search for their preferred health care providers, including doctors and hospitals, all in one place to see which health plans have those providers in their network.

The insurers that will offer Qualified Health Plans on the Individual Marketplace in 2018 are:

Capital District Physicians Health Plan Empire BlueCross and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Excellus (Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield in Central NY and Univera in Western NY) Fidelis Care Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (EmblemHealth) Healthfirst New York HealthNow New York, Inc. (BlueShield of Northeastern NY; BlueCross BlueShield of Western NY) Independent Health MetroPlus Health Plan MVP Health Plan, Inc. Oscar Insurance Corporation United Healthcare of New York, Inc.

The vast majority of Qualified Health Plan consumers will be able to choose to stay with their current insurer in 2018. Two insurers, Affinity Health Plan and CareConnect, which enroll less than three and 5 percent of individuals, respectively, will not be offered on the Individual Marketplace in 2018.

Consumers who are enrolled in these plans will receive a renewal notice with information about how to enroll in one of six or more insurers that will be offered in these counties in 2018. The NY State of Health Customer Service Center and in-person enrollers will be available to assist consumers with selecting new coverage.

The insurers that will offer the Essential Plan in 2018 are:

Affinity Health Plan Crystal Run Health Plan Excellus (Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield in Central NY and Univera in Western NY) Fidelis Care Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (EmblemHealth) Healthfirst HealthNow New York, Inc. (BlueCross BlueShield of Western NY) HealthPlus HP (Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus) Independent Health MetroPlus Health Plan Molina Healthcare MVP Health Care United Healthcare WellCare of New York YourCare Health Plan.

These are the same insurers currently available, with the addition of Molina Healthcare, which
will offer Essential Plan coverage in Central New York.  

NY State of Health’s Small Business Marketplace offers flexible options for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Employers can select the amount they want to contribute toward the cost of their employee’s coverage and offer their employees a choice of health plan options without the administrative hassle.

The insurers that will be offered on the Small Business Marketplace, or SHOP, in 2018 are:

Excellus (Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield in Central NY and Univera in Western NY) HealthNow (BlueShield of Northeastern NY; BlueCross BlueShield of Western NY) Independent Health MetroPlus Health Plan MVP Health Plan, Inc.

Three insurers, CareConnect, Capital District Physicians Health Plan (CDPHP), and EmblemHealth will not offer coverage through the SHOP marketplace in 2018. SHOP products will be available to small employers in all counties except Nassau and Suffolk where employers will continue to be able to purchase small group coverage directly from insurers. 

The Marketplace will also offer the following stand-alone dental plans:

Delta Dental Insurance Company (Individual and SHOP) Dentcare (Individual and SHOP) Dentegra Insurance Company(Individual) Empire BlueCross and Empire Blue Cross BlueShield (Individual) Guardian (Individual) HealthNow New York, Inc. (BlueShield of Northeastern NY; BlueCross BlueShield of Western NY) (Individual and SHOP) Healthplex (Individual and SHOP) Solstice (Individual and SHOP)

Individuals currently enrolled in a plan through NY State of Health will receive information about how to renew their coverage for 2018 directly from the Marketplace. Consumers who are new to the Marketplace will be able to enroll in coverage for 2018 when the Open Enrollment Period begins on Nov. 1, 2017. 

Enrollment in the Essential Plan, Medicaid and Child Health Plus is open all year.

For additional information, visit the NY State of Health website at https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov.

Interactive maps of the 2018 Health and Dental Plans are available at: http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/PlansMap and http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/EssentialPlanMap

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