Different insurance companies come and go from year to year. The majority of our companies are no longer doing what they were 5 years ago. They have moved from selling individual and group plans to selling only group health insurance small business plans or leaving the state altogether. It’s good to know that we have a few companies still available with nationwide doctor’s lists. The two major companies here in Reno are Aetna Reno and United Healthcare.
In years past Aetna has had very competitive rates. Their name recognition and national doctors list have pulled them to the front of every presentation we’ve given to clients. Several small businesses with multiple locations would choose Aetna due to their nationwide doctors lists. Individuals and families could equally see doctors in California as long as they were in the Aetna network.
Individuals & Families
The impact of the Affordable Care Act was felt most by individuals and families. Aetna Reno stopped offering plans in Northern Nevada at the end of 2016. They still offered limited plans in Clark and Nye County but by the end of 2017, they stopped those as well. They still continue to offer plans to small businesses but plans for individuals and families are not available from Aetna Reno.
For Small Businesses
Aetna has always offered a narrow selection of plans compared to the other insurance companies. Insurance companies in Northern Nevada (not including Aetna Reno) offer an average of 39 plans. Aetna offers 9 plans. 3 HMO’s and 6 PPO’s. The HMO’s are primarily designed for use in Clark and Nye County leaving Northern Nevadans with 6 options in 2018.
Aetna was one of the few health insurance Nevada companies this year who did not re-file their 3rd quarter rates. Hometown Health, Prominence and Anthem all lowered their prices to be competitive. Insurance companies are required to spend at least 80% of what they collect on medical expenses. When an insurance company collects more, they need to refund the difference back to the consumer. It looks like a few insurance companies were right on the line and decided to lower their prices for 2018.
As one of our last remaining national companies, I still believe Aetna Reno can be competitive. They are not the cost leader, but they do have one of the best doctor’s lists nationwide. They also have 2 HSA’s, 1 Silver and 3 Gold plans to choose from. Their deductibles go all the way down to $500. I think Aetna is very close to becoming a leader for the market here in Reno.