The Avalere Study of the Impact of Murray-Alexander and Collins-Nelson Bills on Insurance Premiums: What It Says and Does Not Say
On Wednesday, December 6, the health policy research firm Avalere released a study entitled Funding Reinsurance and Cost-Sharing Reductions Would Lower Individual Market Premiums and Increase Enrollment. The study examined the potential impact of two pieces of legislation: first, the Murray-Alexander bill restoring federal “Cost-Sharing Reduction” payments to insurers in the ACA marketplaces; and second, the Collins-Nelson bill funding two years of federal reinsurance payments to state governments.
In this fact sheet, we explain that these bills will not do enough to limit the harmful impact of the repeal of the individual mandate in the tax legislation. Based on the analysis of the CBO and the statements of actuaries and insurers, a reasonable expectation is that repeal of the individual mandate will result in significant coverage losses, increased premiums and instability in insurer participation even with passage of Collins-Nelson and Murray Alexander. In particular, mandate repeal will hurt older people and people with pre-existing conditions seeking private coverage through the exchanges. Millions of these individuals will be priced-out of affordable health insurance coverage. The Avalere study offers no information to counteract that unfortunate expectation.