Possible Expiration of Pandemic-Era Measures Amongst Drivers of 2023 Health Insurance Premium Changes – InsuranceNewsNet

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WASHINGTON, June 23 (TNSres) — The American Academy of Actuaries issued the next news release:

The American Academy of Actuaries has released a public policy issue temporary that points to the possible expiration of two signature pandemic-era measures that boosted medical health insurance affordability and coverage as among the many drivers of potential premium changes for individual and small group plans in 2023.

“Proposed medical health insurance premium rates reflect many aspects, which may include the results of legislative and regulatory changes,” said Academy Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello. “This is particularly true for 2023 rates, as a result of the possible expiration later this yr of enhanced Reasonably priced Care Act (ACA) premium subsidies and of a key support of Medicaid coverage throughout the pandemic.”

The problem temporary, developed by the Academy’s Individual and Small Group Markets Committee, Drivers of 2023 Health Insurance Premium Changes, discusses these key aspects and others which will account for differences in premium rates being filed with state insurance departments this yr for 2023, in comparison with 2022 rates. The aspects are illustrated in a recent infographic as well.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) increased advanced ACA premium tax credits in 2020 and 2021 for all eligible income brackets, including extending tax credits to those that earn over 400% of the federal poverty level. These subsidies, which make plans more cost-effective, are set to finish with the expiration of ARPA on Jan. 1, 2023, reversing enrollment gains and possibly worsening plan risk pools.

Provisions within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) increased federal fiscal aid to states for covering Medicaid enrollees throughout the pandemic-related Public Health Emergency (PHE), contingent on the states suspending their usual processes for redetermining eligibility for Medicaid coverage. These provisions are set to run out at the tip of the quarter through which the PHE isn’t renewed, which could occur this yr. In that event, states could restart the standard redetermination process, meaning some individuals who received Medicaid coverage throughout the pandemic could not be eligible for Medicaid and shift to the person market, the employer group markets, or turn out to be uninsured–a shift that would affect risk pools in the person and small groups markets.

Other aspects expected to drive premium rate changes for 2023 include changes to the composition of the small group market as a result of the continued shift of small employers to self-funded, level-funded, or other risk-rated coverage, or otherwise leaving the market; changes in utilization patterns for telehealth visits and for mental health care; and changes in provider contracting including the expected impacts of medical inflation. The prices of stopping, testing for, and treating COVID-19, while expected to stabilize, may be vital aspects for certain medical health insurance plans, depending on projected trends within the pandemic, particularly should a recent variant emerge that isn’t mitigated by the immunity provided by prior infections or vaccinations. State-level measures similar to reinsurance programs aimed toward lowering premiums could also reduce premiums, with an outsized reduction in the primary yr of recent reinsurance programs.

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REPORT: https://www.actuary.org/sites/default/files/2022-06/PremiumDrivers2023.pdf

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Original text here: https://www.actuary.org/node/15187

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