ACA Insurers Stand to Gain As Jobless Seek Coverage
Insurers selling policies on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges could see a boost in enrollment as people lose their employer-sponsored health care during the pandemic downturn. UnitedHealthcare, Anthem, Centene, and Oscar Health have opted to expand their presence in the exchanges for 2021, and Bright Health says its enrollment has already risen 10%. Enrollment in the exchanges is increasing now because 12 of the 13 states that operate their own exchanges reopened to get more uninsured people covered. KPMG LLP estimates an increase of 4.3 million people in the exchanges through June, based on about 40.5 million anticipated job losses through June. Insurers, however, are uncertain about the impact of COVID-19 on 2021 ACA premiums, but coronavirus claims are expected to increase as more patients are treated.
“If companies come in with rates that are high at all — if you can see anything into the double digits in any state — you’re going to see regulators push pretty hard” to push them down, said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway.