Perhaps the most obvious reason is that the average, marketplace enrollee tends to be less healthy and thus more costly than other types of enrollees.
With the 2017 Open Enrollment for Obamacare approaching quickly, officially known as the Marketplace Insurance Exchanges, there’s a great deal of speculation on how the rates will be affected this year.
Early analysis suggests that the rates will spike for 2017, with some reports suggesting the increase could jump as high as 24% on average nationwide. These figures are coming primarily from insurers, who plan on participating in ACA benefits, filing early premium requests with state insurance departments in preparation for the Open Enrollment. Even though rates will vary from state to state, the early indication is that most Marketplace participants should expect at least a 10% increase from the previous year. If these projections prove to be accurate, the big question becomes; what caused these rates to have increased so significantly? While there are surely numerous factors at play, experts have been pointing to a few glaring issues that might be the culprit for projected rate increases.
What does that mean for COBRA?
Considering the ACA's Insurance Exchange options have been the prominently alternative to COBRA coverage since it’s initiation, an increase of rates for Obamacare could conversely cause a slight influx in COBRA enrollees. Even if the premiums for COBRA are slightly more expensive than a comparative insurance exchange plan, if the rate increases make the rate differences close, it would not be surprising to see even more participants opting to enroll in COBRA (seeing as how it would be a continuation of the coverage they already had). Of course it’s too early to tell if there will be any changes on COBRA participation, but it’s something to keep an eye on, especially if coverage through healthcare.gov increases 20-25%, as some have predicted.
If you have any specific questions regarding these rate increases, feel free to reach out to our COBRA experts. We would be happy to help answer any pertinent questions to your benefits and future. Contact us today!
Keywords: Obamacare, ACA, 2017 open enrollment, marketplace, healthcare reform, insurance rate increases, insurance exchange rates, cobra coverage, healthcare.gov, enrollments, insurance coverage