These plan cancellations were not unexpected, though there was a chance the State of California might have allowed Cigna to extend this plan into 2015, as many other states did. Recently, it was confirmed that California has elected to require Cigna to only offer new, ACA-compliant plans in 2015.
Locking in Cigna’s 2013 plan rates and large PPO provider network was a key part of my recommended strategy in late 2013. As most other carriers pared down their networks, we heard numerous complaints throughout this year from clients who chose to go with Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross. In 2015, Health Net and Cigna will also offer smaller networks of providers.
In 2015, the one carrier that will offer a full PPO network for individuals and families, is Assurant Health. This company has been around for 120 years and is now making a push to gain market share in California. They have three additional years remaining in their contract with Aetna, to offer Aetna’s large Signature Administrators PPO network to Assurant Health plan customers. For our clients to whom access to the most (and some of the best) doctors and hospitals is paramount, Assurant will be worth a look in 2015. For those looking to keep their monthly premiums as low as possible, we will need to look carefully at the smaller provider networks before making the best choice for coverage.