NY State of Health Releases 2018 Open Enrollment Report

Consumer Demand for Coverage Remains High in New York; Broad Choice of Low-Cost Health Plans in Every County

Combined Qualified Health Plan and Essential Plan enrollment increased to nearly 1 million people

ALBANY, NY (May 17, 2018) -- NY State of Health, the state's official health plan Marketplace, today released detailed data on the more than 4.3 million New Yorkers who enrolled in health plans during its fifth open enrollment period that ran from November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018.

"We worked hard to get the message out that the Marketplace is 'open for business,' and that the health plans offered through NY State of Health provide New Yorkers with the protection and security of health insurance," said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore. "This year, consumers had a choice of health plans at prices that were, in many cases, the same or lower than last year."

Despite being a year marked by concerns about the continuation of the Affordable Care Act, consumer demand for coverage in New York remains strong.

NY State of Health 2018 Open Enrollment Report Highlights

Individual Market Enrollment Thrives

Combined Qualified Health Plan (QHP) and Essential Plan enrollment increased to nearly 1 million people, reflecting an increase of 84,000 between 2017 and 2018. Across all Marketplace programs, enrollment increased by nearly 700,000 in the past year. New York has seen a significant corresponding reduction in the number of uninsured, from 10 percent in 2013 when the Marketplace opened to below 5 percent in 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Affordability, Stability in the Individual Market

Individual premium rates for QHPs continue to be nearly 50 percent lower on average than before the establishment of the Marketplace. On average, QHP enrollees receive $296 a month in federal tax credits to further reduce the cost of coverage, up from an average tax credit of $233 last year. In aggregate, New Yorkers are expected to receive over $531 million in tax credits during 2018, a 33 percent increase since 2017. As a result, for many consumers who receive tax credits, the cost of coverage was lower than in 2017. In addition, higher tax credits in 2018 made Bronze level coverage free to individuals making $25,000 a year in 43 counties of the state.

Most QHP enrollees continued to select the lowest cost Silver plan in their county. Additionally, in 2018, the overall share of enrollees selecting Bronze plans increased by three percentage points, an increase of approximately 11,000 Bronze plan enrollees.

Choice of Health Plan Options

Twelve insurers offered individual QHP coverage through NY State of Health in 2018, and most consumers have a choice of at least four health insurers available to them. Fifteen health insurers offer coverage to Essential Plan enrollees, nineteen insurers offer Medicaid and sixteen offer Child Health Plus (CHP). Ten insurers participate in all individual market programs offered through NY State of Health, which allows for continuity of coverage when family members are eligible for different programs and/or individuals' program eligibility changes over time.

There was consistent dispersion of enrollment across insurers: no one insurer has more than half of the enrollment in their service area, and most insurers have between 6 and 23 percent of the enrollment in their respective service areas, reflecting a competitive insurance market.

Statewide Advertising, Marketing & Outreach Campaign

NY State of Health continued efforts to reach non-English speaking residents across the state through statewide advertising in English, Spanish and Mandarin. In the past year, the Marketplace participated in nearly 1,900 community outreach and education events, including many focused on non-English speaking communities. In 2018, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of Spanish-speaking enrollees, an increase of 140,000 Spanish speakers since last year. NY State of Health provides consumer education materials in 27 langauges, navigators provide assistance in 44 languages and the Customer Service Center answered calls in 101 different languages during the 2018 Open Enrollment Period.

The complete 2018 Open Enrollment Report, including detailed demographic information, is available on the NY State of Health website at: https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/2018OpenEnrollmentReport