Thursday, July 03, 2014

Does she know about shrinkage?

LifeHealthPro's Allison Bell reports that "[e]nrollment in employment-based health plans may be declining faster than Congressional Budget Office analysts thought it would."

No kidding.

Here's a question: Based on past performance, why would anyone count on CBO estimates?

The bigger question, though, is what these numbers auger for the future of employer-based health insurance. It seems that actual group enrollment "may have fallen 2 percent, to 177 million in the first quarter of 2014, from 180 million a year earlier." While 2% isn't necessarily catastrophic, one wonders about the long-term trend from here.

The SHOP (small business health insurance Marketplace, or Exchange) is due to come online soon, and it will be interesting to see if that has any effect on these dwindling numbers. Based on the experience of the individual market Exchanges, I'd say: not good.
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