Disclaimer: The Society of Actuaries makes no endorsement, representation or guarantee with regard to any content, and disclaims any liability in connection with the use or misuse of any information provided in this series of articles. Statements of fact and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and are not those of the Society of Actuaries.
By Dave Dillon
The stated purpose of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to provide affordable health care to all Americans. The ACA has seen many successes since its passage in March 2010, including a marked reduction in the number of uninsured and a reduction in uncompensated care.
While the ACA has reduced the uninsured rate, the health insurance markets have seen significant volatility and instability. With this as the background, the new administration has an opportunity to reshape the health insurance market.
On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to repeal and replace the ACA. While the AHCA may not ultimately become law, many of its proposed provisions are attempts to address key issues that are still affecting the commercial health insurance market.
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
It is in this climate of impending change that the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Health Section Council is introducing a new initiative, Commercial Health Care: What’s Next?
This initiative is designed to be an anthology series of white papers and articles that will focus on education and research related to not only specific provisions of the AHCA, but all key issues that impact health care reform.
The initiative will focus on the following key underlying issues that all health actuaries and other interested parties should understand about the current health insurance market and how things may evolve in the future:
The impact of age-rating limitations
High risk/reinsurance pools
Impacts to the small employer market
The impact of the individual mandate
Modified benefit structures/changing the definition of health insurance
Health savings accounts/high-deductible health plans
Other topics may be added as the health insurance market evolves over the coming year.
The SOA has been fortunate enough to receive commitments from an outstanding group of volunteers to assist with this initiative. The current initiative team includes:
Armen Akopyan, ASA, MAAA, vice president, Cambia Health Solutions
Trey Swacker, FSA, MAAA, senior director and actuary, Aetna
Other outstanding actuaries and consultants will assist this team of volunteers by providing insights regarding the specific topics. Additionally, SOA staff—Joe Wurzburger, FSA, MAAA, Health staff fellow, and Rebecca Owen, FSA, MAAA, Health research actuary—will provide further insights and guidance.
Over the next few months, this series of education and research articles will be released monthly. We look forward to you joining us as we begin to inform and educate about such an important issue that affects the daily lives of U.S. citizens.
Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA, is vice president and principal at Lewis & Ellis Inc. He has been appointed to chair the Commercial Health Care: What’s Next? strategic initiative by the Health Section Council.