MICHIGAN: Another One (Mostly) Bites The Dust; 12th CO-OP Drops Off Exchange, May Go Belly-Up
It appears that East Lansing-based Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan could wind down operations this year as it is not participating in the state health insurance exchange for 2016.
But officials of Consumers Mutual today are discussing several options that could determine its future status with the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services, said David Eich, marketing and public relations officer with Consumers Mutual.
Consumers Mutual CEO Dennis Litos said: "We are reviewing our situation (financial condition) with DIFS and should conclude on a future direction this week.”
While Eich said he could not disclose the options, he said one is “winding down” the company, which has 28,000 members, including about 6,000 on the exchange.
Tennessee has posted their preliminary 2023 individual & small group market health insurance rate filings. For the most part they're fairly straightforward: The individual market is looking at average rate increases of around 9%, assuming they're approved as is by state regulators, while the small group market averages around +2.9% overall.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Tennessee and South Carolina can begin offering Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for 12 months postpartum to an estimated 22,000 and 16,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals, respectively, through a new state plan opportunity made available by the American Rescue Plan.
Tennessee and South Carolina join Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois in extending Medicaid and CHIP coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. CMS is also working with another nine states and the District of Columbia to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months after pregnancy, including California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. As a result of these efforts, as many as 720,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals across the United States could be guaranteed Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.
Tennessee's proposed 2022 rate filings are pretty straightforward...no new entrants or drop-outs among the carriers in either the individual or small group markets, and the SERFF filings actually include the enrollment totals for all of them in both markets (a rarity these days!).
The weighted average premium increase for unsubsidized enrollees is 4.4% for indy market enrollees and 8.9% on the small group market.
UPDATE 10/26/21: Well, it looks like all of the requested rates have been approved by the TN regulators without any changes on either market.
Tennessee fires top vaccine official as COVID-19 shows signs of new spread
The Tennessee state government on Monday fired its top vaccination official, becoming the latest of about two dozen states to lose years of institutional knowledge about vaccines in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The termination comes as the virus shows new signs of spread in Tennessee, and the more-transmissible delta variant surfaces in greater numbers.
Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health, said she was fired on Monday afternoon and provided a copy of her termination letter. It provides no explanation for her termination.
Tennessee is one of 12 states which still hasn't expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA (13 if you include Missouri, whose voters expanded the program last year...but which the state legislature refuses to fund).
Now that I've developed a standardized format/layout & methodology for tracking both state- and county-level COVID vaccination levels by partisan lean (which can also be easily applied to other variables like education level, median income, population density, ethnicity, etc), I've started moving beyond my home state of Michigan.
The ACA's language didn't account for the possibility that some states might not expand Medicaid, which is why the lower-end range of exchange plan subsidy eligibility starts off at 100% FPL...
Unfortunately, those earning less than 100% FPL are still stuck without any viable options besides either "going bare" and praying they don't get sick or injured or possibly buying a junk plan of some sort. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there's around 2.2 million Americans still caught in the "Medicaid Gap", where they don't qualify for Medicaid but don't earn enough to be eligible for subsidized ACA exchange policies (Kaiser estimates another 1.8 million uninsured adults in these states in the 100 - 138% "overlap" cateogory, plus around 356,000 who are eligible for Medicaid but still haven't enrolled for one reason or another).
Tennessee has also posted their preliminary 2021 rate filings for both the individual and small group markets. Aside from being one of the few states where a significant number of carriers are including any COVID-19 pandemic factor at all (in both markets), Tennessee has several new entrants and one significant withdrawl (I think).
Overall, Tennessee carriers are asking for a 10.3% increase on the indy market (the second highest so far after New York's 11.7% average), mostly driven by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which holds a whopping 83% of the market. On the small group market, the average increase is 5.5%.
COVID-19 accounts for 1.7 points of the increase on average in the indy market and 2.6 points in the small group market. This, again, is the highest statewide average COVID impact I've seen after New York state so far.
Cigna extended its individual healthcare exchange products for the 2020 plan year, the insurer said Sept. 18.
For 2020, individuals can purchase individual health plans in 19 markets across 10 states. The expansions will take place in counties in Kansas, South Florida, Utah, Tennessee and Virginia. The other states include Arizona, Colorado, Illinois and North Carolina.
The plans will be available for purchase on the individual marketplace during the 2020 open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1. Plans will take effect Jan. 1.