More Data on Obamacare Insurance Market Destabilization

Aug 10, 2017

The individual health insurance market remains unstable, especially for people who buy insurance without taxpayer subsidies, according to a recently-released report by Mark Farrah Associates. (here) The company studies actual state-enrollment data and information from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, not extrapolated survey information.

The authors write that “The sustainability of this challenging health care sector (individual market) is dependent on balanced risk pools, insurer competition, quality care at affordable costs, and regulatory stability. After three full years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health plans have attributed unsustainability to high medical claims, adverse selection, 3Rs program challenges, immature risk pools, and under-enrollment of healthier individuals.”

Bottom line, more low-income people have obtained health insurance at the expense of the middle-class who purchase their insurance without assistance. Medicaid enrollment has increased with the Obamacare expansion and over 70 percent of people in the exchanges receive subsidies.

However, Doug Badger, a former White House and U.S. Senate policy analyst, reports that the number of people who purchase individual insurance plans without taxpayer support has actually decreased from 11 million in March, 2016 to 9 million in March, 2017. (here) Not only has the individual market been affected by Obamacare, but the number of people with employer-paid health insurance has decreased by 3.6 million over the three year period from December, 2013 to December, 2016.

There is no question that some people have been helped by Obamacare. But it has come at a huge expense and an ongoing destabilization of the private health insurance market place.