With large health insurers such as UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Humana pulling back on their offerings in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces due to big losses on their plans, a lot of attention has been focused on the high cost of covering sick enrollees.
The Department of Health and Human Services fought back against that argument with a report finding that medical claim cost growth was essentially flat from 2014, the first year of the marketplaces, to 2015. In that same time period, the report said, per enrollee cost growth in other types of private health insurance rose 3 percent to 4 percent.
That’s an indication that more healthy people bought marketplace plans, which helped lower costs, HHS said.
HHS official Aviva Aron-Dine acknowledged that the report “is not an analysis of issuer finances.” Still, she said, “While a risk pool that is getting stronger does not guarantee issuer profitability, it is a very encouraging sign for the overall health of the marketplace as it continues to mature and continues to grow.”
Moreover, states that had above-average ACA enrollment growth in 2015 saw larger declines in costs, the report found.
Although the ACA risk pool appears to be improving, “actual claims may have been higher than what was expected” initially, said Cori Uccello, senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries.
Premiums for 2017 ACA plans are expected to rise more than they did in 2015 and 2016 as one of the ACA programs that helps cover insurers that incur high-cost claims ends at the end of this year and insurers try to raise rates to stem losses they incurred in the first two years. An analysis of premium filings in major cities by the Kaiser Family Foundation forecast that the cost of benchmark plans on which government subsidies are based will increase 9 percent in 2017.
The full story is at http://www.bna.com/medical-costs-aca-n73014446278/.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)