Consumers and small employers who prefer plans with high premiums but low out-of-pocket costs might be out of luck next year.
Paul Houchens and other actuaries at Milliman report in an analysis of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange plan menus that rich, platinum-level products are scarce in the individual exchanges and the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges.
Typical individual HHS exchange users will see only one insurer offering platinum-level “qualified health plans,” and employers using SHOP exchanges will be lucky if they can get platinum coverage from even a single carrier.
Typical exchange shoppers could see three to four carriers offering bronze, silver and gold plans in the individual space, and about two carriers offering those levels of coverage in the SHOP market.
Silver plans are the most common, the actuaries found.
Insurers may have feared that platinum coverage buyers would have high levels of claims, the actuaries theorized.
The actuaries looked at the plan menus for the 34 states with individual exchanges run by HHS and the 32 states with HHS-run SHOP exchanges.