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Monday, August 20, 2018

You Should Expect an Unstable 2019 Health Insurance Market

 Current broker insights project the health insurance market is set to become volatile as higher-income Americans react to increased ACA plan premiums. The Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute reports that federal policy shifts may force many people to abandon the individual health insurance market unless states start protecting their ACA exchanges.

Competition for Cheap Health Insurance

The report, which sought insights from insurance agents and brokers, states that have rising premiums are likely to drive healthier Americans to seek cheap health insurance elsewhere, in short-term health plans, for instance. This exodus is projected to only drive up the rates in the individual market, which in turn could force even more people to start looking at alternatives for their current healthcare insurance.

The brokers are pinpointing higher-income Americans as the ones to leave because that cohort makes too much money to qualify for government subsidies, like the one the ACA provides for those up to 400% of the federal poverty level.


The Healthcare Insurance Microscape

This report looked to six states –– Iowa, New Hampshire, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Utah –– as a crucible of healthcare insurance activity, because these six states have what is deemed “fragile markets,” and higher-than-average premiums.

The report reveals that within health insurance landscapes like the ones in these states, narrow provider networks are leading people to drop ACA plans. Limited plan choices are also a factor projected to lead to health insurance market instability, and so people have been turning to small-group market plans and cheap health insurance with increasingly limited protections. The brokers also said people are considering direct primary care arrangements, which is a contract between patients and their primary care provider.


While it may be easy to write this report off as conjecture intended to seed the health insurance market with panic, bear in mind that this report relies on insights from brokers and insurance agents who are working in the field, directly in contact with Americans struggling to find cheap health insurance and health care plans they can afford. Americans with individual insurance are already struggling, and 2019 does not appear on track to alleviate that.

Consider the Impact To Your Company’s Health Insurance Offerings

As you look ahead to the implications of the current health insurance landscape on your company’s health care options, don’t be afraid to work ahead, too. It is not too soon to think about your ACA reporting. Come January, you’ll need to be focused on how to navigate the volatile 2019 health insurance market––don’t bury yourself unnecessarily in 2018 reporting while you’re already struggling under paperwork for the coming year.


Schedule an appointment with one of our ACAwise account managers today. ACAwise provides full-service ACA reporting designed to help you with efficient 1094 and 1095 Form distribution, so let us take this off your plate.


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