It is seen that an average shopper on healthcare.gov is paying $69 per month for the popular Silver health plan on the exchange. This was made possible due to the subsidies offered by the federal government to the consumers. After an in-depth study was conducted it was found that 87% of the consumers used subsidies to buy private health insurance. As a result two third of the shoppers are paying less than $100 per month. The federal government is paying more than $20 billion to support these insurance plans.
A report by HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson said that it was difficult to verify the eligibility information - as the information on a subsidy application did not match the government records. The health exchange was unable to decide the inconsistency in 2.6 million applications out of 2.9 million which makes it 89%.
A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that at places where the health insurers were brand names like Blue Cross the enrollments were quite good. It was found that more than half the people who purchased insurance did so on being advised by navigators and certified counselors.
In yet another study it was found that 27% of those who had enrolled under the Affordable Care Act were those with serious health issues like heart problems, cancer, diabetes, asthma or psychiatric conditions and this may raise the projected premiums for 2015.
Federal subsidies have changed the health insurance equation for millions of Americans and the number of uninsured is decreasing by the day. The success of the market place model will be proved when the premium rates filed for the next year under the Affordable Care Act are kept at a minimum increase.
Dick Cowart, July 2014
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)