After receiving criticism that many Americans would not be able to keep their existing health insurance plans due to the heightened minimum coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), President Obama announced a policy on November 14, 2013 that allows individuals to keep their existing healthcare plans as long as their state’s health insurance commissioner agreed and the insurer offered to renew the plan. Shortly thereafter, Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) each introduced in Congress separate bills that would further extend health insurance plans that do not satisfy the ACA’s requirements. Representative Upton’s plan would allow all individuals to purchase one of these plans, rather than limiting the option to only current enrollees. Senator Landrieu’s bill would require insurers to continue offering these plans indefinitely, but would limit enrollment to only current enrollees of those plans.
On January 21, the Rand Corporation released its report titled “Evaluating the ‘Keep Your Health Plan Fix,'” which studied how these proposals would affect the insurance marketplace under ACA. The report set forth the following key findings:
- Premiums for health insurance plans in the ACA marketplace would rise from one percent under the President’s policy to a high of 10 percent under Representative Upton’s bill;
- Enrollment in health insurance plans in the ACA marketplace would decline by 500,000 (four percent) under the President’s plan and 3.2 million (26 percent) under Representative Upton’s plan;
- The number of uninsured individuals would drop by 260,000 under the President’s plan, 450,000 under Senator Landrieu’s plan, and 2.5 million under Representative Upton’s plan;
- Individuals who would retain their existing health insurance plans would be younger and healthier on average; and
- The net cost of the coverage provisions under ACA would increase by $0.6 billion under the President’s plan and $5.2 billion under Representative Upton’s plan.
To review the report, click here.