An interesting analysis of health care costs for people with ACA individual policies from Health Affairs Blog (here
). CMS looked at costs insurers paid over 2014 and 2015 (here
) and (here
). Their conclusions:
- Per-enrollee costs in the ACA individual market were essentially unchanged between 2014 and 2015.
- Available evidence indicates that the slow ACA individual market cost growth resulted at least in part from a broader, healthier risk pool.
- Nearly all states saw continued growth in Marketplace enrollment in 2016, suggesting continued risk pool improvement.
From the Health Affairs blog linked above
But there is considerable evidence that insurers underpriced for 2014, either intentionally to gain market share or because of actuarial miscalculations.
Researchers estimate that 2016 Marketplace premiums remain between 12 percent and 20 percentbelow the rates that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially predicted. Insurers are still making up for lost ground.
This is the first analysis I've seen with hard data, and it doesn't support the claims made by insurers as they reassess their competitive strategies around the country. We will probably hear more on this as other organizations dig into the nitty gritty.