TOPEKA (KHI) — The second open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace in Kansas has opened. Last year, slightly more than 57,000 Kansans signed up for health insurance coverage through healthcare.gov, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Kansas Health Institute has produced an issue brief describing changes in the marketplace, and several online maps showing the plans and premiums offered in the seven premium rating areas across the state.
The most important features of the 2015 marketplace include:
• The 2015 Kansas marketplace has 82 plans available - 64 for individuals and families (down from 65 in 2014), and 18 for small businesses (up from seven in 2014).
• All of the current insurers are again offering coverage, and one additional insurer has joined the Kansas marketplace in 2015, bringing the total number of insurers to five.
• The average premium for all plans offered in the marketplace changed very little - an increase of just 0.1 percent from 2014 to 2015.
• However, individual Kansans could see a wide range of price changes for specific plans. For example, premiums for some silver plans are anywhere from 11.6 percent more to 13.0 percent less in 2015 compared to 2014.
• Kansans seeking coverage through the marketplace, especially those considering renewing their current plans, are encouraged to evaluate their options carefully. Insurers may have adjusted their rates substantially and similar coverage may be available at a lower cost.
KHI’s online maps provide the monthly premium cost, available monthly tax credits to help pay for premiums, and the net monthly cost to representative consumers purchasing coverage through the Kansas marketplace. The maps and additional information on the Kansas marketplace are available at www.khi.org.
“Kansans are encouraged to visit healthcare.gov to learn about the plans and premiums available in their area,” said LeAnn Bell, Pharm.D., author of the new brief and a senior analyst at KHI. “It is important for shoppers to look at the options carefully to ensure they are getting the best coverage and value for themselves and their families whether they are renewing their coverage, or getting coverage for the first time,” she added.