Well… We made it. Year two of “Obamacare” is upon us and open enrollment season is in full swing.
You are either trying to renew the policy you bought last year, or you've found yourself in need of your own health insurance for the first time this year.
As a result, you're head is probably spinning from the amount of confusion that comes with trying to figure out the new system and what health insurance companies you should trust you or your family's wellbeing to in 2015.
In an attempt to prevent your brain from melting trying to make sense of all this on your own, I put together a little “overview” of sorts outlining which health insurance companies are in the game this year and a few important things your should know about each of them.
Health Insurance Companies Participating in Ohio Health Insurance Marketplace
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- HealthSpan Integrated Care
- InHealth Mutual
- Medical Mutual
From that list, Aetna, Assurant, InHealth and UnitedHealthcare are all new to the marketplace this year.
This is InHealth Mutual's first year as a company offering health insurance in Ohio. They are a Co-Op who received start-up and solvency loans from the Federal Government to get started this year. They claim that is what will allow them to be in it “for the long haul.” I'll let you make of that what you will.
Aetna, Assurant and UnitedHealthcare have all been around a very long time and chances are you've heard of at least one of those companies before.
HealthSpan is formally know as Kaiser Permanente, one of the most famous examples of an HMO style health insurance provider, that means you can only receive treatment and care from their doctors and hospitals.
In exchange for such a limited selection of care, normally you can expect to pay a much cheaper rate each month for your health insurance. However, from my initial research it doesn't look like such an advantage exists.
An interesting note, no where in HealthSpan's history or about us section on their site references the fact that just last year the company operated under a different name. You have to go digging in their “news” section to find a press release from last year for the announcement.
Medical Mutual and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield were pre Obamacare top dogs, running neck and neck for the top spot each month and/or year. While they both remain relatively solid choices, Medical Mutual pulled away for good last year and appears to not be looking back this year. You can read more in our Medical Mutual Vs. Anthem head to head comparison.
Up until 2014 CareSource and Molina operated exclusively as a Medicaid provider for those people who simply had a health insurance company assigned to them through the state of Ohio due to their unfortunate circumstances.
SummaCare is a hospital system primarily based in Summit county, with it's headquarters in Akron. It claims to be one of the regions “only provider-owned health insurance companies,” which has been around since the early 1990's.
The Bottom Line
This is really an outline to help you get started understanding who's in the game this year and where they came from to get here.
We will be breaking down these companies head-to-head and the plans they're offering in more detail over the next couple weeks and months of open enrollment season.
Just remember you are going to have until December 15, 2014 to apply for a health insurance plan that starts on January 1, 2015. Also, open enrollment ends February 15, 2015.
Do you need help now? You can get started here.