The ACA will Cause a “Seismic Shift” Toward High-Deductible Health Plans

The ACA is therefore expected to cause a “seismic shift” in HDHP enrollment. Small employers newly required to purchase employees’ insurance may well choose HDHPs as the least expensive coverage option. Larger employers might adopt HDHPs to achieve ACA-regulated premium levels and avoid the 2018 “Cadillac tax.”

For individuals without employer-based insurance options, ACA-instituted health insurance exchanges will provide coverage at four levels of generosity (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum) to 5 to 10% of Americans younger than 65…Cover Oregon, for example, estimates that cost sharing for Oregon families with incomes between 200 and 399% of the poverty level will include $5,000 deductibles, 30% coinsurance for many services even after reaching the deductible, and out-of-pocket spending maximums of $8,500 to $12,700.

New England Journal of Medicine.

Comments (12)

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  1. Lucas says:

    “In Massachusetts, where an exchange began operating in 2006, 84% of enrollees opted for bronze or silver plans, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation”

    The government will have to do more to get people to sign up for the bigger plans.

  2. Connor says:

    “With this limited knowledge base, the United States is poorly prepared for an increasingly HDHP-centered system. An accelerated research agenda is needed, but until better evidence emerges, policymakers and employers will have to use the best available information and commonsense strategies.”

    More reason to slow the ACA down

  3. Chris says:

    “To prevent unintended consequences, policymakers and employers should initially adopt strategies with face validity, such as preferentially funding HSAs for low-income families.”

    I strongly support this idea

  4. James says:

    “In general, a family of four with annual income at 200% of the poverty level ($47,100) and the highest allowable deductible could face out-of-pocket payments of 8 to 27% of its income, depending on the coverage vehicle (see table).

    I am assuming the 27% is the highest package.”

  5. Paige says:

    Not exactly sure how someone is able to be “grandfathered” into the system..?

  6. Octavio Lima says:

    This is a good thing. It would be even better if the bronze plan did not have to cover so much. Much of the recent literature on the slowdown of healthcare expenditures says it is due to higher levels of cost sharing.