If you, like me have been wondering how the Exchanges are faring in the states with federally funded programs on HealthCare.gov, you might be interested in the following recent statistics from the Research Brief of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) dated October 26, 2018:

• Issuer participation has actually slightly increased. This is good.

• 20% of current participants will have only one issuer from which to choose in PY 19 compared to 29% in PY 18. This is good...but is it really?

• The average monthly premium for the benchmark plan in PY 19 will be 85% more than it’s equivalent from PY 14. This is not good.

• Subsidy amounts will drop slightly in PY 19, but it is noteworthy that the average subsidy for PY 19 will be 110% higher than it was for PY 14. This is not good.

• In PY 15, the percentage of participants in plans costing $200 or less per month was 38%. In PY 19, the number of participants in this same cost bracket will be 5%. (If participants remain within their current metal level, this number will only be 2% for PY 19.) This is really not good.

I find these interesting and a good base from which to do more research and collaborate. I don’t suggest this is a complete picture, by any means. But for these major areas, I confess I’d like to see a healthier picture.

What about you? If premiums are 85% higher and subsidies are still higher, what might be the causes? Do you think a mechanism should exist to require that enrollees have the choice between at least two issuers? Love to hear your thoughts.