It can be hypothesized that the mandates and requirements of the ACA, as well as its offer of exchanges as alternatives to employer insurance, may have encouraged many employers to cancel their group insurance plans after 2010.
PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) September 21, 2016
Group plans run by employers are fading as the centerpiece of health coverage, according to health insurer data presented in the new issue of The American Journal of Accountable Care, a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. Instead, many more Americans are covered by Medicaid, which was gaining membership even before passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.
In the article, “What US Health Insurers’ Data Show for ACA ‘Repealers,’” led by Etti G. Baranoff, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University, the authors show how trends that began with the Great Recession in 2008 have been cemented under the ACA, especially after the first open enrollment period on the Marketplace exchanges. These trends include:
- A move away from group health coverage, especially after 2013
- An increase in the number of Medicaid enrollees, with a rapid rise in physician encounters.
- Less steep enrollment increases in Medicare, and in individual plans
These trends are not unexpected at the start of a recession, as businesses failed and canceled health plans, thus sending new waves of eligible enrollees into Medicaid--even before the 2010 expanded coverage to those earning up to 138% of the poverty level in states that chose to embrace this tenet (now up to 31).
The authors found, however, that as the economy rebounded, group health plans did not return with jobs. “The ACA may or may not have enhanced the trends,” the authors wrote. “It can be hypothesized that the mandates and requirements of the ACA, as well as its offer of exchanges as alternatives to employer insurance, may have encouraged many employers to cancel their group insurance plans after 2010.”
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