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.
Utah has an elaborate, color-coded public database which lets you search for health insurance rate filings for not just the current and upcoming year, but also for years dating back nearly a decade. It can be a bit confusing (for instance, the "Latest Rate Changes" section on the main page is currently blank even though both the individual and small group plans for 2022 were all recently approved), but it's still a lot better than most states offer.
Between this database and Utah's SERFF listings, I've been able to put together the full requested and approved filings for every carrier in both markets, along with the enrollment numbers for each, allowing for weighted average increases.
Individual market enrollees are looking at roughly a 1% average unsubsidized rate increase, while small group plans are goin gup about 4.5% overall. From what I can tell, WMI Mutual is dropping off the small group market, but they don't have anyone enrolled in their policies right now anyway.
I've once again relaunched my project from last fall to track Medicaid enrollment (both standard and expansion alike) on a monthly basis for every state dating back to the ACA being signed into law.
For the various enrollment data, I'm using data from Medicaid.gov's Medicaid Enrollment Data Collected Through MBES reports. Unfortunately, they've only published enrollment data through December 2020. In most states I've been able to get more recent enrollment data from state websites and other sources. Unfortunately, Rhode Island is among the few states where I haven't been able to get ahold of post-2020 data yet, even estimates.
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.
Utah's preliminary (and possibly final?) 2021 individual and small group market rate filings are listed below. Unless there's a change in the final/approved rates, individual marekt plan premiums will drop slightly by around 1.2% on average next year, while small group plans will increase by around 4.3%.
One by one, the dozen or so states which had either already implemented work requirement programs for Medicaid expansion enrollees or which were planning on doing so have either "delayed" or dropped those requirements entirely, either by force due to a federal judge ruling against them, or "voluntarily" due to them seeing the writing on the wall and realizing that a federal judge was going to rule against them in the near future.
Every state except one, that is: Utah.
Utah passed ACA Medicaid expansion solidly back in 2018...and they passed a "clean" version, which was supposed to mean anyone earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line would be eligible, and the program wouldn't have any barriers or hurdles like work requirements and so forth.
A brief recap of ACA Medicaid expansion in the great state of Utah:
November 2018: Utah voters pass Proposition 3, a "clean" Medicaid expansion ballot initiative, by a solid margin, 53-47. "Clean" expansion means just that: The program would be expanded to every legally documented Utah resident earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty level, without requiring additional barriers like work requirements, etc.
February 2019: The Utah state legislature, blatantly defying the clear will of the people, votes to effectively ignore Prop 3 by replacing it with Senate Bill 96, which would only partially expand Medicaid to those earning just 100% FPL (around 50,000 fewer low-income residents) while also tacking on work requirements to boot.
Adding insult to injury, while you might think this would at least save the state a few bucks (under ACA Medicaid expansion, the federal government pays 90% of the bill for the expanded population while the state has to pay the other 10%), this would actually cost the state around $50 million more, because the partial expansion, if approved by the federal government, would mean the state would instead pay the 32% portion they already pay for other Medicaid populations. The state put in a separate waiver request asking for the feds to agree to the 90% match rate anyway.
Yes, that's right: Not only did they lop 50,000 people out of the loop entirely, the other 90 - 100K enrollees will also be subject to...wait for it...work requirements. Well...sort of; keep reading.
First, it looks like they'll have to apply to at least 48 employers as well. So...what, if they get hired by the first one they still have to apply with 47 more?
Note that it says "and" before the fourth item, not "or"...which means all of them will have to register online, complete a training assessment, apply to at least 48 companies and complete an online training course.
...Oh by the way, one more thing: The minimum wage in Utah is $7.25/hour.