Wahoo, the December 2014 Healthcare.gov monthly enrollment report has been released and wonks across the nation are diving into it right now.
The biggest take-away is things are working.
The second most notable thing to me is the shift in plans being purchased.
If we rebucket the five bands into three categories, where Catastrophic and Bronze go into the low bucket, Silver goes into the medium bucket, and Gold plus Platinum go to the high bucket, what we see is a stable Low bucket at the start of this open enrollment period when compared to the end of March last year, a 20% drop in the High bucket that flows directly to the Medium bucket.
I can not say if the shift is due to people dropping acturial value in search of better premiums once they figured out that they were over-insured last year, if people who bought Gold or Platinum last year on the Exchange figured out that they would qualify for medium (87% AV) or high (94% AV) cost sharing assistance Silver, or if the case mixture changed. My bet is a little of all three. The risk pool is a bit younger in the initial part of the 2015 open enrollment period, so there should be an age weight that leans to lower acturial value coverage.
Nuggets, not nuggest.
Davis X. Machina
@Steeplejack (phone): “Nugg’ doesn’t have a superlative?
That’s mighty nugg of you! Thanks. I’m sure I could be even nugger if I tried….
@Davis X. Machina:
Damn it, should have been “even nuggier.” Standards, people! And the original head should be “the biggest from the report.” The absolute most nugg.
FYmobileWP! Edit no work. Should be “nuggest from the report.” And fuck you, too, autocorrect.
interesting that one of the subjects of this story is a mayhew who dislikes obamacare but likes medicaid expansion. it’s not a last name i’ve seen much, in fact only twice. :o) in any event, good to see some folks getting coverage.
The only time you need a gold or platinum plan is either, you have a high regular income but an illiquid wealth portfolio. Or a good income and a horrifically costly chronic condition, or a one year situation where you are going to get all of the medical work you haven’t done in the past and get it all done in one year. Thus, you could see the drop in gold and platinum as some folks having gotten the expensive procedure that they hadn’t gotten in the past and then went down to silver for maintenance.
All I know is, last year I had a fully-subsidized silver plan, and this year I’m having to pay for bronze. I could understand why adjustments might make a silver plan no longer fully subsidized for me, but since I work part time retail and live hand-to-mouth, it’s hard for me to understand why my subsidy no longer completely covers bronze. As a liberal who wants the PPACA to work, it’s still hard not to resent, in Atrios’s apt phrase, being forced to buy shitty insurance that I can’t afford.
Every time I read these articles about the ACA working, I get another knot of dread about how it’s all going to go away. The courts and the states will blow more and more holes in it until it malfunctions and dies, and the fact that it ever worked will go down the memory hole.