A View at the Crossroads of Health Reform: Academy Provides Analysis of the Individual Market's Sustainability, Options for Addressing Challenges

January 18, 2017
WASHINGTON—With the 115th Congress on course to weigh potentially historic changes to the individual health insurance market through repeal and possible replacement of the Affordable Care Act, the American Academy of Actuaries’ Individual and Small Group Markets Committee is providing an overview of the market’s sustainability and options to address challenges in a new issue paper.

“As Congress and the new administration consider major changes, it’s essential for policymakers to take stock of the individual market, its challenges and successes, and the possible effects of any changes,” said Academy Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello. “Our new issue paper outlines what’s needed for a sustainable individual market, assesses how well the ACA has achieved those conditions, and explores how ideas for addressing the challenges would affect the market.”

An Evaluation of the Individual Health Insurance Market and Implications of Potential Changes acknowledges improvement on some key measures in the nearly seven years since ACA enactment, such as lowering the uninsured rate. However, enrollment has been lower than initially expected and enrollees have been less healthy than expected. In addition, there have been recent declines in insurer participation and consumer choice. The paper examines the pros and cons of a variety of different ideas put forward to address those challenges, including enhancing enrollment incentives, modifying insurance rules, and establishing high-risk pools.

View the paper and learn more on the Academy’s website at http://www.actuary.org/files/publications/Acad_eval_indiv_mkt_011817.pdf.

About the American Academy of Actuaries
The American Academy of Actuaries is a 19,000 member professional association whose mission is to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession. For more than 50 years, the Academy has assisted public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on risk and financial security issues. The Academy also sets qualification, practice, and professionalism standards for actuaries in the United States.