As we enter the 4th quarter of 2010 we have seen major changes in  health insurance. Most of this is do to the health care reform.

In the individual health insurance markets we have seen a decline in carrier competition. There are less plans to choose from and this is a direct result of health care reform.  The health care law did not take into consideration that the individual markets is a small segment for the carriers. In Indianapolis and the rest of the country you can no longer obtain a stand alone children’s policy. The healthcare reform forced carriers to insure children under 19 years of age at a guaranteed issue.  The carriers pulled out of this market.  We have also seen a increase in individual premium because of “Essential Benefits”. Essential Benefits is coverages that now have to be covered under the law.  If you are in the market for an Individual plan you don’t have as many option as you once did. I would advise with taking out a policy with a National Carrier like Anthem or United HealthCare because these companies should survive the healthcare reform. They is much fear in the market plan that smaller insurance companies will not be able to make it. This has everything to do with health care reform.  The medical loss ratio will prevent most if not all smaller carriers out of the individual market.

As we look at small group health we are seeing a lack of competition also. About 75% of all small groups are being max loaded because of on going health conditions. It has become very difficult to move a group plan. Owners now have to consider pro active approaches to group health plans. This mean a level of cost shifting onto the employee. There are techniques to cost shifting that will have a less of an impact on the employee’s morale. If your interested in learning about these techniques contact me.

In the large group market there are some significant changes occurring. Broker and Consultants are starting to change the way they are compensated. There is also a real push for pro active wellness programs. We are even seeing incentives being awarded for completing these types of programs. Predictive modeling for disease management is starting to get attention.

We are expecting big changes in all areas of the health insurance market.

Do you have anyone consulting you on these changes?