Eight out of 10 new and renewed Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) enrollees qualified for a tax credit to help cover the cost of premiums. That’s according to a research brief from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailing the impact of the Affordable Care Act.
Released February 9, the brief encompassed information from 37 states using the HealthCare.gov platform from November 15-January 30, 2015. It focused on consumers who selected or were re-enrolled in a plan for 2015 coverage. Significant findings included:
• 7.5 million individuals had selected or been passively renewed into 2015 plans
• More than 87% qualified for an Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC)
• 8 out of 10 received an APTC
• The average APTC covers approximately 72% of gross premium
• The average member responsibility premium is $105 per month among individuals with plan selections qualifying for an APTC
• Nearly 8 in 10 individuals could select a plan with a premium of $100 or less after applying the APTC
• APTCs will reduce premium costs by over $1 billion a month
• Almost 6.5 million individuals qualify for an average APTC of $268 per month
This research was conducted as “an initial step to assess the affordability of coverage for individuals selecting or being automatically enrolled into Federally Facilitated Marketplace plans during the 2015 Open Enrollment Period,” states the ASPE.
While ASPE examined data specific to APTC and premium levels, credible data accumulated by HealthPlan Services™ (HPS), which has a substantial FFM and state-based exchange market share, reveals trends around passive vs. active renewals. For example, 41% of those with on-exchange policies renewed actively while 59% did so passively. Other findings include:
• Members who chose to renew actively are paying 9% more in 2015, while those who renewed passively are paying 36% more.
• Active renewals are paying $17 less per month in 2015 than passive renewals, and are receiving more subsidies.
• Members who chose to actively renew also reduced their plan metal level, resulting in smaller premium obligations.
• 71% of active renewals are paid through February compared with 53% for passive renewals
Finally, active renewals are paying on average $17 less per month in 2015 than those renewing passively. HPS attributes this to “members who chose to renew actively and had their APTC readjusted, resulting in a 1% increase. Passive renewals saw a decrease in APTC due to the APTC dollar amount of the 2014 plan being applied to the 2015 plan.”
HPS and ASPE will both update data after the close of the 2015 Open Enrollment Period. For the latest information on FFM, tax credit qualifications and other healthcare reform issues, subscribe to this HPS blog.