Churn: Data Lacking on Critical Question

The media and most health policy wonks focus only on the number of insured versus uninsured people. They don’t really care if people are enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare plans, employer-based benefits, or whatever. As long as the percentage insured goes up, they are satisfied.

One of the problems this disguises is “churn” – people moving between different types of coverage, which leads to disrupted care. It is something that Obamacare surely makes worse, by introducing a new type of coverage for people within a certain range of income.

However, the people in charge of the new system are almost completely ignoring this problem, according to Modern Healthcare:

Experts say churn can be disruptive to people’s continuity of benefits and healthcare, particularly if they have medical conditions for which they are receiving treatment. In addition, it can be harder for people to access healthcare providers, particularly specialists, if they switch to Medicaid, which often pays lower rates.

“For a patient under a physician’s care for a condition like cancer or renal failure, changing providers in the midst of chemotherapy or dialysis can be incredibly disruptive,” said Chris Stenrud, executive director of government relations at Kaiser Permanente.

A CMS spokesman said no data on churning between private plans and Medicaid were available for the nearly three dozen states using the federal marketplace. But a committee of health plans selling products on the federal exchange that has been tracking the trend has noted a small but steady exodus from exchange plans. The committee, however, could not determine whether the people exiting the exchange plans were transitioned to Medicaid or employer coverage or became uninsured.

The solution to churn is a refundable, universal tax credit that allows people to buy health insurance of their own choosing, and getting rid of the artificially fragmented market that Obamacare has made worse.

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bob Hertz says:

    John you are basically correct. The idiots who designed Obamacare seem to want people to change plans every year, with the provisions in the law almost forcing that to happen. I guess the goal is to drive down insurance premiums by relentless competition.
    As you say, this has deleterious side effects.

  2. Don Levit says:

    Our health plans are projected to have 93 percent retention over 20 years
    Normally insurers count on churning to increase profits
    That would also be true for us if the retention was 80 percent instead of 93 percent
    But Milliman wanted to be on the conservative side because our plans offer more savings as the years go by so indeed expecting only 7 percent of our customers to lapse over 20 years may actually happen
    To learn more go to
    Don Levit

    • Thank you. Why do you refer to Milliman here but at your own website you refer only to “one of the most renowned life and health services actuarial firms”? And what is the U.S. patent number on your solution? And are you a licensed insurer in any state yet?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Underwriterguy says:

        These infomercials have been appearing here for quite some time. John, if you get any response, please share it with your readers.

        • Thank you. I don’t like to delete comments unless they are actually offensive. And Mr. Levit sometimes makes good comments. So, I let the promotions slide. Maybe I am too liberal.

  3. Don Levit says:

    Send me an Email and I will provide more information