This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

A Third Insurer, Kaiser, Drops Rates On DC Health Link Exchange As Competition And Transparency Cut Costs

While it is difficult to directly compare plans on the exchange, with their required benefits, to plans the insurers sell now, the rates conform to the department's experience of what customers now pay without the additional benefits.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services surveyed exchange rates recently, including in the District, and while the department said more research is needed, "the results strongly suggest that greater competition and transparency are leading to substantial benefits for both consumers and employers in these markets."

The report shows that employers looking for coverage in the small group market can find rates for full benefit plans in DC Health Link more than a third lower than today's rates. ( View the Department of Health and Human Services report.)

As an example of Kaiser's new rates, meanwhile, an HMO plan in the Bronze tier of plans on the exchange, with the highest out-of-pocket costs such as co-payments and deductibles, will cost an average $193 a month. The HMO plan in the Platinum tier, with the lowest out-of-pocket costs, averages $352.   

For people below certain income levels, the federal Affordable Care Act will provide subsidies. Among other benefits to consumers: Insurers cannot deny coverage for pre-existing conditions; and all plans must cover that new set of essential health benefits.

United Healthcare is offering the most plans, 177; CareFirst is next with 69; Kaiser, one of the nation's largest not-for-profit health insurers, 32; and Aetna, 23.

Health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, in which patients must usually seek approval before seeing a specialist, account for 174 of the plans; preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, which are less restrictive, total 127.   

To see tables of the rates, including the new Kaiser rates, go to  

Because Kaiser added children's dental benefits to their revised plans, the old rates in the table would have to be adjusted to compare them directly with the new rates – a true comparison that shows the rates dropping. And Kaiser added seven new plans, which also affected direct comparisons. Taking these factors into account explains why the rate drops are not apparent in the tables comparing the original rates to the new rates.   

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs