Health Insurers Set to Expand Offerings Under the ACA
Oscar Insurance Corp expects to grow in 2020. It will add 6 states to the 9 states where it operates. Furthermore, Healthcare Inc and Centene Corp also plan to expand next year. Anthem will spread further in California and Virginia.
Indeed, insurers have increased premiums in recent years and would expect only a moderate rise in 2020. “The market is now clearly stabilizing,” said Mario Schlosser, chief executive of Oscar. Thus, Oscar has proposed premium decreases in three states for next year.
Moreover, insurers are entering markets where one has little options. For example, Bright Health is moving into Nebraska, which currently has just one ACA insurer. “We saw places where people were being underserved, there weren’t many choices,” said Bob Sheehy, the company’s chief executive.
In addition, enrollment in the ACA’s marketplaces equaled around 10.6 million in the first quarter, approximately the same as the year-earlier figure, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, the amount of people with individual insurance has dropped—to 13.7 million in the first quarter of this year, according to the Kaiser analysis, down from 14.4 million in the previous year and 18.8 million in 2015’s first quarter.
In fact, the ACA’s financial penalty for people without health coverage expired, a probable factor in the individual-plan enrollment decrease from 2018, said Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the Kaiser foundation. She said the drop may reflect people who gained employer coverage.
Furthermore, the significant fall in individual-market enrollment since 2015 is a consequence of the cost of insurance, according to insurers and analysts. Besides, the attrition happened primarily in plans sold outside the ACA’s marketplaces. Hence, these plans attract people who don’t qualify for federal subsidies that support the costs of coverage.
Finally, those consumers have paid the full burden of rate increases, which impacted them before 2019.