Thursday, March 28, 2019

Promoted from the Comments: ACA #Winning?

Responding to Tuesday's ObamaCare "success" post, co-blogger Mike made some extremely salient points, and I wanted to make sure that they were more easily accessible. Regarding the report's noting that "Among all consumers in the 39 states that use the platform, the average premium before application of the tax credit was $612,” Mike explains:

"The 2019 average of $612 is 1.5% less than the 2018 average number of $621.

It appears the average reduced because fewer people ended up selecting the Silver plan for 2019, and more people selected the Bronze plan.

Click the link to the CMS report, scroll down to the end of Table 2 to find the enrollment by metal plan. You’ll notice that while Bronze selections rose in 2019, Silver selections decreased. These changes are presented as (%) which don’t give the full picture when the base - the overall number of selections - changes. So I converted the (%) to numbers of plan selections in each year.

The result clarifies that in 2019 there were about 76,000 more selections in the Bronze plans and 553,000 fewer selections in the Silver plans. This is evidence of people dropping their Silver plan, or migrating from the more-expensive Silver plan to the less expensive Bronze plan. Both types of selections help explain how the “average” premium before APTC could have reduced from 2018 to 2019.

Keep in mind no one pays a premium that is “averaged” between a Bronze and Silver plan.

But CMS does not provide the year-over-year change in premium for just the Bronze plan and just the Silver plan. Those answers would help to explain why so many people decided to migrate away from the Silver plan - or drop it entirely

In other words:

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