A new 2019 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has showed a strong decrease in individual health insurance markets following an individual health insurance market growth of 6.8 million enrollees compared to a 17.4 million enrollee increase in 2015 when the Affordable Care Act was first introduced. As it stands approximately 651,000 fewer individuals are currently enrolled in individual health insurance.
Despite stabilized ACA exchanges and premiums, individual enrollment continues to go decline with KFF attributing the change to plans that are not ACA compliant, with less regulation and shifts to employer sponsored coverage.
KFF’s research determined that approximately 4000,000 individuals have left the plans due to the premium increases and mandate penalty repeal, with off-exchange plans experiencing the largest dip in enrollment.
The research also showed that between 2016 and 2018 the highest declines coincide within states that have the largest premium hikes. While there are many influences in the decline or enrollment and premium fluctuations, researched argued that “While there may be no signs of the individual market collapsing, there remain concerns about affordability of coverage for people who do not qualify for a subsidy, many of whom have already left the individual market,”
Projections currently show that enrollment may stabilize in the years to come so long as subsidies are available to enrollees.