A Snapshot of Public Exchange Enrollees

Fifty-seven percent of people who purchased health insurance through an exchange had been uninsured. And most had been without coverage for at least two years, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Eighty-two percent of those in compliant plans say they are in good health compared to 93% in non-compliant plans. Seventeen percent of people in compliant plans are in fair or poor health compared to 6% of those in non-compliant plans. This is not surprising since the law requires insurers to accept all enrollees, regardless of their health. The effect on premiums is still uncertain since many insurers anticipated a sicker-than-average mix of enrollees when they set their premiums for this year.

The survey also looks at people who had individual coverage and switched to new coverage from the state marketplaces or directly from insurers after January 1. Forty-six percent of plan switchers are paying less for their new plan while 39% are paying more.

“While there was much controversy over rate shock for people who had their policies cancelled, it’s now apparent that just as many people got financial relief under the Affordable Care Act,” said Kaiser Family Foundation senior vice president Larry Levitt. Thirty-one percent say their new plan covers more services while 25% say it covers fewer services. Twenty-nine percent say that their plan offers more financial protection while 26% say it offers less. More than half of plan switchers say their choice of providers is about the same under their new plan; 32% say they have less choice of primary care doctors, and 24% say they have less choice of specialists. Half of those in ACA-compliant plans got outside help with the enrollment process while the other completed the process on their own. For more information, visit www.kff.org.

Last Updated 09/23/2020

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