HHS: More Than 1M Exchange Enrollees Chose New Plans for 2015
More than one million U.S. residents who signed up for exchange plans this year selected new coverage, which the Obama administration said could help to keep down premium costs, National Journal reports (Baker, National Journal, 3/10).
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Monday said that 11.7 U.S. residents have enrolled in coverage through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges through Feb. 22.
Enrollment is expected to continue to increase because of a special enrollment period through April for individuals who became aware of the ACA's penalty for not having coverage while completing their taxes. Enrollment could increase by several hundred thousand before the end of the special enrollment period, according to Charles Gaba, who operates ACAsignups.net (California Healthline, 3/10).
An analysis by Avalere Health found premiums for the most popular coverage in the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange in 2014 will increase by 10% on average in 2015.
The researchers found that consumers who shop for coverage options via HealthCare.gov are likely to find a lower-cost plan in 2015. In addition, the analysis found that the second-lowest-cost silver plan, off which subsidy amounts are set, had changed in many regions, which could result in individuals paying more in after-subsidy premiums if they do not switch plans (California Healthline, 11/21/14).
Over One Million Savvy Shoppers
HHS officials on Tuesday said that of the 4.2 million individuals who were automatically renewed for or re-enrolled in exchange coverage, 2.2 million updated their information in the federal exchange and compared their plans with new options. Of those "active re-enrollees," 1.2 million selected different exchange plans.
Kevin Griffis, HHS acting assistant secretary for public affairs, noted that the rate at which exchange enrollees switched plans was better than the agency had expected and higher than the rate at which individuals switch plans under Medicare Part D. He added that the active consumers will show insurers that it is "critical to compete on price" in the ACA's exchanges (National Journal, 3/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.