Ritter Insurance Marketing, Craig Ritter

ACA Enrollment Downgraded Once Again by CBO

An estimated 12 million Americans will buy coverage through Affordable Care Act marketplaces this year. That’s according to the latest report by the Congressional Budget Office. Their ACA enrollment estimate was downgraded from 13 million enrollments predicted in January.

This most recent downgrade is hardly surprising. CBO has repeatedly reduced their ACA enrollment estimates since 2010. This year’s estimates are far lower than last year’s estimate of 21 million enrollments.

Initially, the sponsors of the ACA hoped to expand access to health insurance and reduce the cost of providing it. The thought at the time was to widen the pool of insured individuals. Monthly premiums from healthy customers would offset the cost of covering the sick. In reality, the opposite occurred. Large insurance companies racked up big losses because of claims stemming from ACA policies.

Similarly, many feared that the open marketplace would drive employers away from offering company policies. Those fears were largely unfounded. The report from CBO found that most Americans still prefer to purchase coverage from their employers.

Has the ACA been successful?

The jury’s still out, but there’s no denying the impact it has had on coverage in America. Prior to the law’s inception, the amount of uninsured Americans under 65 hovered around 15 percent. CBO’s report indicated that 90 percent of people under the age of 65 are now covered by health insurance. That works out to 244 million Americans under the age of 65 with coverage, while just 27 million (10 percent) are lacking.

Additionally, the update from CBO gave hard numbers on the amount of enrollees in federally funded programs like Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and more. It also yielded some interesting statistics on how Americans acquire their health insurance. Current projections for 2016 are as follows:

Health Insurance Coverage in 2016 for People Under Age 65

Based on a total Under 65 population of 272 million Americans

  • 155 million will purchase coverage from their employer (57 percent)
  • 68 million will be covered under Medicaid and CHIP (25 percent)
    • 62 million will gain coverage through Medicaid (23 percent)
    • 6 million will be covered through CHIP (2 percent)
  • 22 million will fall under Nongroup Coverage and the Basic Health Program (8 percent)
    • 12 million will purchase Nongroup Coverage through ACA Marketplaces (4 percent)
    • 9 million will find coverage outside of ACA Marketplaces (3 percent)
  • 9 million will qualify for coverage through Medicare (3 percent)

CBO’s report also offered several 10-year projections. They estimated coverage would be on the rise in 2026 with 253 million insured Americans under the age of 65. Uninsured Americans will rise in numbers to 28 million over the next 10 years. Proportionally, they will still account for 10 percent of the total population under 65. Projections for 2026 are as follows:

Health Insurance Coverage in 2026 for People Under Age 65

Based on a total Under 65 population of 280 million Americans

  • 152 million Americans will purchase coverage from their employer (54 percent)
  • 71 million will be covered under Medicaid and CHIP (25 percent)
    • 69 million will gain coverage through Medicaid (25 percent)
    • 2 million will be covered through CHIP (.7 percent)
  • 25 million will fall under Nongroup Coverage and the Basic Health Program (9 percent)
    • 18 million will purchase nongroup coverage through ACA Marketplaces (6 percent)
    • 7 million will find coverage outside of ACA Marketplaces (3 percent)
  • 9 million will qualify for coverage through Medicare (3 percent)

The Congressional Budget Office reports on the Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under 65 once per year, with updates published as deemed necessary.

Posted by filed under Affordable Care Act, News, Under 65 .


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