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.
Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Oregon
Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon Health Authority, and the State Health Access Data Assistance Center
Between October 2013 and April 2014 access to health insurance in Oregon expanded in two ways, leading to unprecedented changes in insurance coverage in the state. First, the state extended Medicaid coverage to many previously ineligible low-income adults. Second, the state created a health insurance marketplace that provided a resource where individuals could learn what they are eligible for, explore financial assistance options available to them, and compare commercial plans. In this report, researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), in consultation with the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota, analyzed the impact of these policies on health insurance coverage with a key objective of estimating the number of uninsured individuals in Oregon after the policy changes. For questions/comments about the report, please contact Peter Graven at OHSU.