As of March 31, the open enrollment period for the federal Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance exchanges is now closed, and since the cutoff date, plenty of numbers have been released. Most recently, data shows that health insurers from New York State’s capital region added about 35,000 new members to the ACA’s coverage plans. But that’s only looking at the smaller scope. In total, the top three health exchanges for the Albany region — MVP Health Care, CDPHP, HealthNow New York — have, in total, nearly 2 million members.
These people who’ve signed up for ACA coverage so far will have a hand in shaping future decisions about the way health insurance is provided, as the Albany Business Review reports. Nationally, the ACA has enrolled over 8 million Americans since its rollout last fall.
As President Obama’s crowning achievement, the ACA is slated to expand health insurance coverage and drive down the cost consumers pay through government subsidies and competition. But health insurers, especially in the Albany region, say the true test will be what effect the new plans have on the prices of monthly premiums. The CEO of Albany’s CDPHP, John Bennett, said it could be two years before the full impact of the ACA is known.
One of the biggest factors dragging down health insurers is the fact that the ACA’s enrollment system doesn’t allow several key factors to be made clear — especially when it comes to whether or not the person was uninsured before. These factors play an integral role in determining how much a patient will pay premium coverage.
The ACA doles out coverage for general illness, some dental and vision costs as well, though those aren’t always available through individual plans. That’s good news for the nearly 4 million Americans over age 40 who are suffering from vision impairment, as per 2010 statistics from the National Eye Institute.
As Bennett points out, CDPHP lost an estimated $44 million of its $2 billion revenue in 2013, most of that stemming from the taxes and fees brought on by the ACA. All that begs the question, is the ACA really going as well as intended? We may have to wait until 2015 to find out — or before, when health providers unveil next year’s numbers for premium pricing.