Some customers have decided that they can’t afford subsidized coverage and are letting it expire.
The new open health insurance enrollment period will be beginning under the Affordable Care Act on November 1, and while this means that campaigns are soon going to launch in full force to encourage the remaining 10.5 million eligible uninsured people to purchase coverage, dropouts are working against that effort.
The insurance exchanges are now needing to focus on keeping their current customers as well as attracting new ones.
This is a new trend since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as the health care reform has been bringing enrollments to the industry until now. However, as some customers find that the subsidies aren’t enough to allow them to pay for their health plans on top of their rent or mortgage payments, vehicle costs, food bills, other types of coverage, utilities and all the other bills that roll in every month, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep them from dropping their policies.
By the end of June, the federal marketplace for the Affordable Care Act had enrolled 9.9 million people.
That figure was 15 percent lower than the total that the Obama administration had said had signed up for coverage by the close of the open enrollment period in February. At that time, they’d said there were 11.7 million enrolled.
At the moment, there isn’t any comprehensive data that would help to explain the specific reasons that people are choosing to cancel their coverage or that they lose those policies through the insurance exchange. That said, the marketplace, health care providers, enrollment counselors and customers alike are saying that cost is a significant factor. Many people have purchased policies but have later decided that they simply cannot afford them and have cancelled them later one.
That said, there have been other people who had purchased policies with the help of Affordable Care Act subsidies but who later cancelled their coverage because the amount they were receiving from those subsidies was reduced or eliminated as a result of several potential factors, such as earning more than was reported on applications, or an inability to confirm income levels.