Data From HHS revealing, to the dismay of naysayers, that the Affordable Care Act – ACA – “Obama-Care”) is achieving its goal of keeping medical costs down as more enrollees  subscribe.  This was the intent of the ACA.  Not that of a small % of those individuals with “bad” health insurance who were required to subscribe to the minimum levels mandated by the ACA, who complain about “losing” their insurance of choice (which was better for them anyway).

Here are the FACTS!

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight

200 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20201

Date: August 11, 2016

Subject: Changes in ACA Individual Market Costs from 2014-2015: Near-Zero Growth Suggests an Improving Risk Pool

Key Findings

• Per-enrollee costs in the ACA individual market were essentially unchanged between 2014 and 2015. Specifically, after making comparability adjustments described below, per-member-per-month (PMPM) paid claims in the ACA individual market fell by 0.1 percent from 2014 to 2015. For comparison, per-enrollee costs in the broader health insurance market grew by at least 3 percent

• Available evidence indicates that the slow ACA individual market cost growth resulted at least in part from a broader, healthier risk pool. In particular, states that saw stronger-than-average enrollment growth in 2015 saw greater-than-average reductions in PMPM costs. For example, in the 10 states with the highest 2015 growth in ACA individual market member months, PMPM claims costs fell by an average of 5 percent.

• Nearly all states saw continued growth in Marketplace enrollment in 2016, suggesting continued risk pool improvement. Moreover, the 2015 claims data also predate important steps CMS has taken over the six months to further strengthen the Marketplace risk pool. These steps include implementing new processes to prevent misuse of Special Enrollment Periods, reducing the number of consumers losing coverage or financial assistance due to data-matching issues, helping consumers who turn 65 move from the Marketplace onto Medicare, and proposing to curb abuses of short-term plans.

Analysis

On June 30th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data on reinsurance payments for 2015.1 Reinsurance payments are based on issuers’ claims paid amounts for the full individual market, excluding grandfathered and transitional plans; the data include all plans sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace, including the federal HealthCare.gov Marketplace and the individual State-based Marketplaces, as well as off-Marketplace plans that are subject to the same pricing and

1 https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Premium-Stabilization-Programs/Downloads/June-30-2016-RA-and-RI-Summary-Report-5CR-063016.pdf