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ACA premium cost increases slow for 2019, more plans to be available

Ohioans who get health coverage through the ACA marketplace will see premium increases averaging 6.3 percent for health-insurance coverage in 2019, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance (Source: “Ohio Obamacare 2019 costs rise, but not as much; more options available,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Oct. 7, 2018).

Ohioans also will have more coverage options. Insurers say a stabilizing marketplace has allowed them to increase premiums less and expand coverage to more counties in Ohio for 2019. Last year cost inceases average 21 percent, which insurers largely blamed instability in Washington, D.C.

Nationwide, 19 states, including Ohio, will have new insurance plans or expanded coverage by existing insurers on the marketplace in 2019, according to a September report by Avalere, a Washington, D.C.,-based healthcare consulting firm. In Ohio, 10 insurers will participate in the exchange in 2019, compared to eight this year, according to the state insurance department. In all, 16 counties will only have one insurer, down from 42 in 2018.

About 230,000 Ohioans, or about 2 percent of the population, are enrolled in marketplace plans. Open enrollment for coverage next year runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.