8 insurers interested in Pa. marketplace
HARRSIBURG — Subsidiaries of eight companies are signaling interest in selling health insurance policies through the marketplace that is being set up in Pennsylvania next year under 2010’s sweeping federal law, state insurance regulators said Thursday.
The interested companies include all four of Pennsylvania’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers, as well as Aetna, UPMC, Geisinger and Coventry Health Care. Their proposed policies include individual and small group plans, the state Insurance Department said.
The proposed plans are spread across the levels of coverage, referred to as bronze, silver, gold, platinum and catastrophic plans.
They offer a range of premiums, deductibles and co-pays that depend on variables, such as how many doctors are included in the network. However, some of the proposed plans will only be available for purchase in certain counties, the Insurance Department said.
Two major commercial insurers with a presence in the state, United Healthcare and Cigna, were not on the list.
The Insurance Department refused to reveal how many policies the companies are proposing and said it would not share details of the policies being proposed.
None of the plans have been certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a necessary step before one can be sold in the marketplace, said department spokeswoman Melissa Fox.
The federal government will run Pennsylvania’s marketplace after Gov. Tom Corbett declined to do so.
State insurance officials reviewed the proposed plans to ensure they comply with Pennsylvania insurance laws and regulations, Fox said.
The new insurance marketplaces, which are open for enrollment Oct. 1, will allow individuals, families and small business owners to compare different private health insurance plans. Many will get financial help: Families of four earning up to about $94,000 and individuals earning up to about $46,000 can receive federal tax credits paid directly to the insurers to help offset premium costs.
The less a person makes, the more the government will pay.
People cannot get the financial help if they are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.
They also cannot get the help if they are offered coverage through their employer, unless that coverage does not meet certain standards or it costs more than 9.5 percent of their income to purchase it, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Under the law, Washington will run marketplaces for states that can’t or won’t set up their own, including Pennsylvania.