Cheaper prices, more competition ahead for Ohio ACA exchanges in 2020

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Americans Borrow $88 Million Annually to Pay for Healthcare

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

For the first time since the Affordable Care Act exchanges were created, premiums for the average individual health insurance plan will be getting cheaper.

This year, the average premium was $6,162 for an individual policy. For 2020, based on what insurers have filed so far, the average premium will be $5,731, which is down 7 percent.

Open enrollment begins on Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15.

MORE: 1 in 5 in-network claims denied for Ohioans with ACA plans

Robert Denhard, spokesman for Ohio Department of Insurance, said this is the first time average annual premium for individual plans decreased since the start of the exchange.

While cheaper on average than last year, insurance premiums for these plans will still be more than twice as expensive on average compared to when the exchanges first started in 2013, when the average premium was $2,650.

The actual price people pay varies depending on what plan, what county and whether that person qualifies for subsidies.

There will also be more options for some Ohioans.

Only one county in Ohio, Logan County, will have just one insurer selling individual plans next year. This year, 16 Ohio counties had only one insurer selling ACA plans.

Only a small percent of Ohioans — 207,000 out of more than 8.8 million adult Ohioans — buy their health insurance from the exchanges.

The number of people buying individual plans also declined this year by about 10 percent in Ohio.

In Montgomery County alone, about 1,500 fewer people bought individual plans for 2019 on the exchange.

MORE: See how many people bought ACA insurance in your county

Ten companies filed with the Ohio Department of Insurance to sell individual plans in 2020, same as this year.

The marketplaces for individual health insurance plans were one of the signature parts of the Affordable Care Act intended to bring coverage to more people.

The exchanges created the option to comparison shop insurance plans with government-regulated consumer protections and many shoppers qualify for help paying for these insurance plans. However, the Dayton Daily News has previously reported that the middle-class consumer that doesn’t qualify for insurance subsidies could be struggling with the climbing cost of buying a plan.

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