The passing of the Affordable Care Act, the launch of HealthCare.gov, and the establishment of numerous health insurance marketplaces all marked important changes in the infrastructure of health insurance around the country. More changes are coming in 2016, partly as a result of government changes on the national level and partly because of market shifts in response to these changes. Thankfully, you can make sure that you stay ahead of the curve by keeping track of the expected health insurance changes in 2016, including these five important projections:
1. Higher premiums
As in 2014 and 2015, health insurance premiums are expected to increase by about 5 percent – which may not seem like a lot, but adds up when considering the cost of insurance for employees, dependents, and spouses. Most large employers plan to have employees cover about 20 percent of their own premiums and 24 percent of their dependents’ premiums.
2. High deductibles
High-deductible health insurance plans will grow in popularity as 83 percent of employers turn to a consumer-directed health insurance plan in 2016. Depending upon your employer, you may have a choice to select the high-deductible plan, or may have it as the only option.
3. Higher non-compliance penalties
The Affordable Care Act mandated that all U.S. citizens must have adequate health insurance, and in 2016 the penalties for not complying with this law are expected to rise sharply. Consumers who choose not to purchase health insurance will have to pay the greater of either a $695 fee or 2.5 percent of their modified adjusted gross income.
4. Telemedicine options
Many health insurance plans will start to offer telemedicine options, which are medical consultations with a licensed physician that take place through digital means, such as video communication. This can affect how you meet with a physician as well as how much you have to co-pay for doctors’ visits.
5. Cash for wellness programs
Many employers, looking to prevent employees’ health problems rather than deal with them as they come along, plan to offer health insurance breaks for employees who join a wellness program, health assessment or biometric exam, otherwise known as “cash for wellness” programs. In 2016, this could affect your health insurance costs as well as your own well-being.
If you have any questions on how the expected insurance changes in 2016 could affect you, or if you would just like to review your current policy, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency.