Tomorrow is Election Day. It far exceeds April Fool’s Day in terms of the number of people who get pranked! A lot of this year’s focus continues to be on health insurance, so with November Open Enrollment now here, I thought I would take a quick look at what premiums we are likely to pay in 2019.
I titled this post as a ‘First Take’ since it seems like every year I end up with multiple posts on health insurance as it is a dynamic marketplace. As I described in the article I was interviewed for in Kiplinger’s, “inflation has been through the roof” the last two years as our premiums jumped 40% at the same time our deductible DOUBLED.
For 2019, I had read that health insurance premiums were more stable and that new plans were emerging that ‘slimmed down’ some of the benefits that were required under the original Obamacare Plan. Still, I was shocked yesterday afternoon when I went on the open enrollment site for our insurance provider and saw that our premiums are falling -22%! For the same deductible & coverage, that’s over $3,500 next year!!
Less government intervention & regulation seem to be making a huge difference for us in 2019 on our premiums. In our State of Minnesota, where the very liberal Governor infamously commented that “the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable” has opened the insurance marketplace to new competitors.
In the past, for-profit companies were not allowed to do business in our state, which kept competition down and rates higher than the national average. What made that strange is that United Healthgroup – the largest health insurance company in the entire country – wasn’t able to sell a single policy in their home state. Now that they and other for-profit companies are allowed to compete, rates are coming down quickly for all companies.
In addition to the benefit of lower premiums, the ObamaCare ‘tax’ that I paid with my income tax the last two years (over $5K a year) has also magically disappeared as the Republicans tried to eliminate the most unpopular aspects of the affordable Care Act, without repealing it outright.
Despite all of the negative Election Day advertising about which political party is ‘in the pocket’ of the big, evil insurance companies – don’t fret. They both are! This chart shows that four of the biggest insurance companies in the USA have seen their stock prices grow 3x-6x faster than the broader S&P 500 since the launch of ObamaCare in 2010.
I have some more exploration to do before settling on which health insurance plan we’ll pick for 2019. That said, I was hugely surprised to see the drop in premium on this ‘first take’ peek at the start of open enrollment.
What are you seeing in your health insurance premiums for 2019?
Image Credit: Pixabay; Yahoo! Finance Charts