affordable care actThe health insurance companies that offer small group plans, have had their rates for 2016 approved.

The definition of small group is about to change for Indiana. Currently, small group is a company with less than 50 full time employees. For 2016, this number is going to change to less than 99 employees.

This is going to a big change for Indiana businesses. Right now if you have more than 50 employees, there is still the underwriting factor. Once small group goes to under 99, we will go to pooled rating, which mean no underwriting. This will change the fully insured landscape in Indiana. Employer sponsored wellness programs will have no impact on health insurance premiums.

Anthem was approved for a 2% decrease on average. Averages do not tell the full story because each plan design is rated differently and each county is as well. Some Anthem plans will receive a 14% decrease, while other will have a 4% increase. Anthem small group rates have not been competitive since 2014. Even with the decrease, from a price standpoint, they will be higher. Anthem’s focus since 2014, has been on Individual health insurance plans and it shows.

United Healthcare was approved for an average rate increase of 6%. The plan designs have a 9% decrease to a 20% increase. UHC has been creative with their plan designs. They developed plans that have no out of network coverage, which helped to price them lower. They also developed “gate keeper” plans, where your doctor has to be involved with all of your health care or it’s not covered. The gate keeper plans are receiving the 9% decrease.

There are only 14 other companies offering small group health insurance for Indiana. This shows there really is not that much competition. The other companies are not competing from a premium standpoint with UHC or Anthem on fully insured products. There is competition in the partially self-funded market and there is big push on the PEO options.