Obamacare Premiums to Decline, Insurer Choices to Increase, CMS Says

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the average premium for the second lowest cost silver plan on HealthCare.gov for a 27 year-old will drop by 4 percent for the 2020 coverage year. Additionally, 20 more issuers will participate in states that use the Federal Health Insurance Exchange platform in 2020 bringing the total to 175 issuers compared to 132 in 2018, delivering more choice and competition for consumers. As a result of the Trump Administration’s actions to stabilize the market, Americans will experience lower premiums along with greater choice for the second consecutive year, the CMS announcement states.

aca-marketplace-opens-nov-1“Lower costs and more options for American patients are a key piece of President Trump’s healthcare vision: an affordable, patient-centric system that puts you in control, and treats you like a person, not a number,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar.

“The president has delivered lower costs and more options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for two straight years, and this work reflects his overall approach to healthcare: protect what works and fix what’s broken. The ACA simply doesn’t work and it is still unaffordable for far too many. But until Congress gets around to replacing it, President Trump will do what he can to fix the problems created by this system for millions of Americans.”

The implementation of Obamacare’s main regulations in 2014 severely upset the individual market, according to CMS. Premiums in states using HealthCare.gov more than doubled by 2017, compared to the year before Obamacare’s main regulations took effect. As premiums rose, enrollment, especially among people who don’t receive premium subsidies, declined. These trends began to surface between 2015 and 2016. By 2018, unsubsidized enrollment across the country had declined by 40 percent from its peak in 2016.  Under these conditions, a number of issuers left the market. From 2016 to 2017, the number of issuers in states using HealthCare.gov declined from 237 to 167 and, in 2018, the number dropped to 132 — a 44 percent drop in only two years.

Open enrollment for policies sold by HealthCare.gov under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins Nov. 1 and closes Dec. 15.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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