Uninsurance Rate Down to 11.9% in First Quarter of 2015

The uninsurance rate among U.S. adults decreased to 11.9% in the initial months of 2015, according to a recent Gallup poll, down 6.1 percentage points since its peak in the third quarter of 2013, before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The most recent drop since the conclusion of the second open enrollment period is less dramatic than what was seen after the first open enrollment period, but continues the trend toward overall reduction in the number of uninsured. The percentage of adults covered by self-funded plans, including individual plans sold through a Marketplace, has increased by 3.5 percentage points, to 21.1%, since the end of 2013. Additionally, the percentage of adults covered by Medicaid has increased by 2.1 percentage points, to 9.0%, since the end of 2013.

National Health Expenditures Estimated to Cost $2.5 Trillion Less than Previously Expected

National health expenditures (NHE) by all public and private payers between 2014-2019 are now estimated at $2.5 trillion less than CMS’ 2010 estimates, according to a new report by the Urban Institute. The report attributes the lower projections to the recent recession, growth of high deductible health plans, cost constraints within state Medicaid programs, and other policies related to the ACA that caused NHE to grow at an average annual rate of only 3.9% between 2009-2013.

Awaiting King v. Burwell Decision, Some States Change Rules for Insurers

Some states are allowing health insurers to submit two sets of proposed 2016 premium rates—one for each potential outcome from the SCOTUS ruling, reports Politico Pro. Insurance premiums are expected to rise significantly if the Court rules to eliminate subsidies for Marketplace enrollees in the 34 states that use HealthCare.gov, since many of the healthiest enrollees will likely drop coverage, leaving sicker, higher-cost enrollees in the risk pool. So far, Alaska told insurers they should submit two sets of premiums, and Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Texas said they will review two options. Some states, including Louisiana, Arizona, Montana, Utah, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, have said they will not review two rates.