Estimated Costs of a Reinsurance Program to Stabilize the Individual Health Insurance Market: National- and State-Level Estimates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reinsurance, an insurance product designed to protect health insurers against the financial risk of covering high-cost enrollees, has attracted bipartisan policy interest as a mechanism to stabilize individual health insurance markets. Three states-Alaska, Minnesota, and Oregon-have implemented state-based reinsurance programs under the Affordable Care Act's 1332 State Innovation Waivers, and reinsurance waivers have been approved though not yet enacted in Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. In this article, we estimate the costs of implementing national and state-based reinsurance programs using health spending data from the 2007-2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and state demographic and health insurance coverage data from the 2015-2017 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement. We project that a reinsurance program with an 80% payment rate for expenditures between $40,000 and $250,000 would cost $30.1 billion from 2020-2022. We observed considerable variation in reinsurance programs and estimated costs between the 4 states we examined: California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. Our projections provide updated estimates of the costs of implementing federal reinsurance programs for the individual health insurance market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46958019836060
JournalInquiry : a journal of medical care organization, provision and financing
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Affordable Care Act
  • health insurance marketplaces
  • individual health insurance market
  • reinsurance
  • states

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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