With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) ninth open enrollment period (OEP) set to launch in less than a month, the ACA Marketplaces are seeing record enrollment numbers with more generous subsidies, new carrier competition, and a relatively stable rating environment. At the same time, there is uncertainty with the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and medical costs trending upward as the economy recovers, albeit at an uneven pace. These trends have made for a challenging rate review process in the 47 states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) that conduct their own ACA rate reviews of carrier-proposed rates using federal review standards. State announcements of 2022 rates have trickled out at a slower pace than in prior years, and it is likely that many states will not publish their approved rates until the beginning of open enrollment. As always, state rate results vary widely and, even within states, there often are substantial variations among carriers and across different regions in geographically diverse states. With these caveats, this expert perspective highlights some observations about the factors that are impacting rate changes this year and the kind of variations that exist among states.
Early Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Minnesota
State Health Access Data Assistance Center
With full implementation of the health insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on January 1, 2014, there has been great interest in assessing the law’s early impact on health insurance coverage in Minnesota. At the request of Minnesota’s State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace, MNsure, and with support from the State Health Reform Assistance Network, researchers from the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) compiled data from a variety of sources to analyze, at an aggregate level, the shifts in health insurance coverage that have taken place in Minnesota since the fall of 2013. The study finds that between September 30, 2013, and May 1, 2014, the number of uninsured Minnesotans fell by 180,500, or 40.6%, from 445,000 (8.2% of the population) to about 264,500 (4.9% of the population).