The Affordable Care Act, One Year Later Series: The Winners Part II will continue exploring the ways in which the ACA is working.
- Premiums in the marketplaces aren’t rising quickly and more insurers are joining the marketplaces to compete. Many opponents of the ACA have argued that only older and sicker people are signing up for coverage, and that carriers would increase premiums or abandon marketplaces. However, multiple studies have shown that premiums inside marketplaces are barely rising. In fact, even within states, there is a lot variation. The HHS announced that participation in the marketplaces will actually increase next year.
- Employer premiums aren’t rising. Most working-age Americans are insured through their employers. And although critics said employer premiums would skyrocket, this hasn’t been the case. A Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits found that employer premiums rose by just 3 percent. However, because coverage can still be expensive, employers have asked employees to pay more in out-of-pocket costs.
- Overall health costs are rising at historically low rates. When measuring the cost of healthcare, economists mostly care about national health expenditures-what the U.S. spends on medical care through both private and public insurance, as well as through individual out-of-pocket costs. According to the latest projections from CMS, it’s been rising very slowly.
- The net effect on the budget has been to reduce the deficit. The ACA calls for new spending since the government now has to underwrite the costs of both the expanded Medicaid program and subsidies for people buying health insurance. With every dollar in new spending, there is also one dollar in either new revenue or new spending cuts. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the net effect is to reduce the deficit. Additionally, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the total bill for federal healthcare programs is likely to be lower than predicted when the ACA first became law.
Stay tuned to the HMS Affordable Care Act, One Year Later Series to find out who the ACA losers are.
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