Government

Dire predictions of declining ACA enrollment

At this point wih average premium increases well into double digits, there is not much affordable about the Affirdable Care Act. That’s largely because the law was built on false assumptions and poorly designed leaving out the human nature part of the equation. They ignored that health care spending and adverse selection whereby patients choose they plan they think they need, drive premiums. 

Now there is a new politically based excuse, the Trump factor. While there is no doubt the administration is not helping the cause and may deter new enrollment, it’s a real stretch to blame significant decreased enrollment on those factors. If there is such a decrease, it will be because of high premiums and not much more. If there is confusion over what to do, it will be because of the complexity in the exchanges and the over abundance of choice, a fundamental design flaw. 

Since Trump came into office, he has taken a series of actions that could undermine the law. He signed an executive order that instructed agencies to loosen ObamaCare rules, slashed advertising and outreach dollars, cut enrollment staff and earlier this month cut off payments to insurers that reimburse them for giving discounts to low-income enrollees. 

One influential analyst predicts confusion from these actions will lead enrollment to drop several million compared to last year. Charles Gaba projects the numbers could drop to between 9.5 and 10 million people this year, down from 12.2 million last year, though he notes it is hard to predict.  

Josh Peck, a former Obama administration health official, has estimated that the new administration’s cutbacks to outreach alone will lead to 1.1 million fewer people signing up for coverage this year.

Source: The Hill

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3 replies »

  1. FYI

    More people will get access to free health insurance plans next year

    An Oliver Wyman analysis found that zero-premium Affordable Care Act health plans will be available to some consumers in 2,692 counties next year because they qualify for higher federal premium subsidies that cover the entire cost of a plan. The Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reduction payments indirectly bolstered the federal subsidies that help low-income people with their insurance premiums, resulting in increased availability of no-premium plans, the analysis says.The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/27)

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  2. Another blame game. This bill was designed to fail with full intentions to promote single payer. If after this many years the people don’t know that now is the time to choose a policy, expensive advertising will not inform them. The outreach dollars were a farce also. We need to cut costs. As for the reimbursement to insurance companies, why should we be padding their pockets? This was a faulty program forced upon the american people with full intent of forcing single payer healthcare once it failed as the Obama administration knew it would. Now the tangled web created is exposed and it is someone else’s fault! No wonder the country is at odds.

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