January 6, 2020

THANKS, UR!:

Obamacare looks surprisingly sturdy after the individual mandate's repeal (Dylan Scott,  Jan 6, 2020, Vox)

Insurers are doing just fine, according to new data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The margins they're seeing per individual customer (the difference between the premiums they're paid and the medical claims they pay out) look as healthy as they have in years. Despite fears the lack of the mandate would drive healthier people out of the market, there is little evidence that's actually happened.

Instead, the individual market continues to go through a soft attrition: Premiums continue to increase, but only slightly, and enrollment is shrinking, again slightly. It's not a death spiral, but the market is slowly being winnowed to a core customer base: People who get federal assistance to cover their premiums, and unsubsidized customers who don't receive that help but need good health insurance.

"Before the ACA, a lot of people who were sick or low-income were unable to buy their own coverage on the individual market," Cynthia Cox, who studies the Obamacare markets for KFF, says. "Now we are seeing that the market is working for low and moderate-income people who are able to get a subsidy, but prohibitively expensive for some upper-middle income people who do not qualify for financial help."

Posted by at January 6, 2020 5:52 PM

  

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