Rise in cost of Wisconsin benchmark plans lower than national rate

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:10 am

The rise in the cost of benchmark plans in 2016 will be lower in Wisconsin than the nation, according to a snapshot of health insurance marketplace rates released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In Wisconsin, there will be an increase of 4.7 percent in 2016 for second lowest cost silver plans, otherwise known as benchmark plans.

In Wisconsin, there will be an increase of 4.7 percent in 2016 for second lowest cost silver plans.

Across all 37 states that used the HealthCare.gov platform, the cost of the benchmark plan will increase on average 7.5 percent in 2016. For those consumers who live in 30 of the largest markets representing more than 60 percent of total enrollment, the average increase in premiums for the benchmark plan is 6.3 percent for the second-lowest cost silver plan.

The HHS notes that these increases do not take into account advanced payments of premium tax credits, which lower the monthly costs for the overwhelming majority of Marketplace consumers.

About eight in 10 individuals who selected a 2015 Marketplace plan qualified for financial assistance, and the average advance premium tax credits for those enrollees who qualified for financial assistance was $270 per month.

The next Open Enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace runs from Sunday to Jan. 31, 2016. Consumers must sign up by Dec. 15 to have coverage that starts Jan. 1.

Marketplace consumers do not have to stay in their same plan; they have options when they purchase their coverage. In 2015, 29 percent of all HealthCare.gov consumers who re-enrolled in coverage shopped and chose different plans.

According to an HHS report released today, Wisconsin consumers who re-enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace last year and who switched to a plan with the same level of coverage saved $43 per month after tax credits, or $515 annually, relative to what they would have paid had they remained in the same plan as in 2014.

In total, returning Marketplace consumers who switched in Wisconsin saved $14,801,429 annually in premiums by shopping around last year.

Today’s report shows Wisconsin Marketplace consumers were active shoppers last year, with 36 percent percent of re-enrollees from 2014 switching to a new plan for 2015.

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