ACA Markets Stabilize Going Into 2020

August 20, 2019

There has been a widespread easing of rates for both individual and small-group Affordable Care Act (ACA) markets, according to state rate filings. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation credits the easing of prices to innovations such as reinsurance programs, which it said have “proven popular across the ideological spectrum.

In Washington state, for example, 13 health insurers filed an average proposed rate increase of 0.96% for the 2020 individual market, a record low. Montana’s three insurers providing coverage on the individual market proposed average rate decreases of at least 6.7 percent for 2020. Proposed rates in Delaware, which has only one carrier statewide — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware — would go down nearly 6 percent, according to the state Insurance Department. Even in states where individual rates are rising, growth is slowed. There are exceptions. In Louisiana, for example, individual rates are proposed to increase 11.7 percent.

The moderation of rates follows spikes in 2017 and 2018. Health policy experts predict that for 2020, average unsubsidized ACA individual market premiums will only be going up an average of less than one percent nationally.