The Affordable Care Act (ACA) ushered in a range of consumer protections designed to make it easier for individuals to obtain affordable, adequate health insurance in the individual market. In many states, however, individual market consumers have faced increasingly limited plan choices, relatively narrow provider networks, and rising unsubsidized premiums.
In the past year, policy decisions made by Congress and the Trump administration have exacerbated trends. Insurance brokers and agents who sell health coverage to individuals offer a unique perspective about how the market and consumers are responding to recent federal policy changes to the ACA.
In a new report from Georgetown, authors Kevin Lucia, Sabrina Corlette, Dania Palanker, and Olivia Hoppe examine brokers’ evolving role in the individual market, consumer purchasing decisions, and brokers’ observations about how the market and consumers are responding to recent federal policy adjustments to the ACA. Findings include:
- Healthy, higher-income consumers are being pushed out of the individual health insurance market.
- Those leaving the individual market are purchasing cheaper alternative coverage options.
- Non-ACA-compliant plans offer higher commissions and marketing supports.
- Brokers predict higher premiums in the individual market and expanded enrollment in alternative coverage options like short-term health plans.
The Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute is a nonpartisan, expert team of faculty and staff dedicated to conducting research on the complex and developing relationship between state and federal oversight of the health insurance marketplace.