November 21, 2019
Analysis of 2020 ACA Premiums Indicates Individual Market is Stabilizing
AAF health policy analysts Jonathan Keisling and Andrew Strohman have examined the latest Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium data for every individual-market rating area across the United States. Their analysis reveals that average benchmark premiums have fallen for the first time ever, indicating that the market is stabilizing.
- Average premiums are stable: The premiums for 2019 benchmark plans that are still offered on exchanges in 2020, even if not as the benchmark, have increased by less than 1 percent, on average, while the average 2020 benchmark plan premium is 3 percent lower than the 2019 average;
- The average masks considerable variation: Changes in benchmark premiums for 2020 range from a 40-percent decrease to a 74-percent increase;
- The market saw notable churn: 25 percent of all rating areas have the same benchmark plan as 2019 — up from 15 percent last year — although 88 percent of 2019 benchmarks are still offered on the exchanges this year; and
- Competition is increasing: 154 rating areas will see the entrance of at least one more insurer, while the number of rating areas with more than one firm in 2020 is increasing by 61 to 418 — dynamics associated with lower premiums.