ACA Enrollment Decline in Many States Correlated with Major ACA Rate Increases
Majority of states with declining enrollment also supported Trump
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 18, 2017) - An analysis of states with declining enrollment in Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans shows two common denominators: rising insurance rates for 2017 and support for President-Elect Donald Trump. The analysis was conducted by AgileHealthInsurance.com using cumulative enrollment data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from the end of the year in 2015 and 2016.
As of Dec. 31, about 8.8 million Americans had signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov since open enrollment began Nov.1, up from about 8.6 million plan selections last year at this time. However, 13 states experienced a decline in enrollment in 2016 when compared with the same time frame the previous year. These states are Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. All but one of these states (Indiana) has experienced significant ACA rate increases according to recent reports. All but one of these states (Maine) also voted for Trump.
"As open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act draws to a close, it will be revealing to see how consumers react to a market that has seen costs and unpredictably increase simultaneously," said Sam Gibbs, executive director of AgileHealthInsurance.com.
Here is a closer look at some of the data:
- Alabama had 10,000 fewer enrollees in ACA and experienced a 58 percent rate increase. Alabama also experienced a 71 percent rate increase for one of its most popular marketplace plan choices, the second-lowest silver plan, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Georgia had 35,000 fewer enrollees and experienced a 15 percent rate increase.
- Mississippi had 16,000 fewer enrollees and experienced a 19 percent rate increase.
- Montana had 3,000 fewer enrollees and experienced a 40 percent rate increase.
- North Carolina had 25,000 fewer enrollees and experienced a 40 percent rate increase for both overall premiums and second-lowest silver plans.
- Tennessee had 2,000 fewer enrollees and experienced a 63 percent rate increase.
Among the top 10 states in the country with the highest percentage of health insurance rate increases for 2017, all but two voted for Trump.
"The high cost of health insurance premiums was perhaps a factor for many in both their personal health insurance decisions in 2016 and in their decisions about who to support in the presidential election," says Gibbs. "The data also is a strong reminder that consumers are savvy and will look for the lowest-cost coverage option that meets their needs."
During the past few years the market for short-term health insurance has increased. As a low-cost insurance product, it has served within the insurance market as a safety net for consumers who cannot afford an ACA plan, are temporarily excluded from the ACA marketplace, or merely desire an alternative to the health plans offered there.
AgileHealthInsurance.com was created to educate people about the benefits of short term health insurance and provide a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short-term health insurance is a flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.
AgileHealthInsurance.com is a Silicon Valley-based technology company and independently managed division of Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIIQ). This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact, and may include statements relating to goals, plans and projections regarding new markets, products, services, growth strategies, anticipated trends in our business and anticipated changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws. Forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs are generally identifiable by use of words "may," "might," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue," or similar expressions and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, our ability to maintain relationships and develop new relationships with health insurance carriers and distributors, our ability to retain our members, the demand for our products, the amount of commissions paid to us or changes in health insurance plan pricing practices, our ability to integrate our acquisitions, competition, changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws, and our ability to adapt to them, the ability to maintain and enhance our name recognition, difficulties arising from acquisitions or other strategic transactions, and our ability to build the necessary infrastructure and processes to maintain effective controls over financial reporting. These and other risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements are discussed in HIIQ's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be filed by HIIQ from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. You should not rely on any forward-looking statement as representing our views in the future. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.