This past week top insurers announced Obamacare enrollment was shrinking:
The nation’s third-largest health insurer had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, a spokesman confirmed to IBD. At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to “just over 500,000” by the end of the year.
The gap between the high watermark of sign-ups and the number of current premium-paying customers reflects both those who never sent in a first payment and those who stopped paying for any number of reasons. For some, finances may have been too stretched. Some may have gotten fed up with high deductibles, and others could have switched plans so they wouldn’t have to switch doctors. Still others may have found a job that came with health benefits, or others lost income and qualified for Medicaid.
I’m going to bet that high premiums and deductibles are the primary reason for the shrinkage.
Let’s remember, a smaller pool of custumers means higher premium costs. So, look for premiums to continue to rise as more people drop their coverage.
Speaking of higher costs, companies are already doing their part to minimize theirs, which, of course, means higher costs for workers.