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Saturday, 8th September 2007

New AHIP Report Takes a Ten Year Look at the Unintended Consequences of State Efforts to Change the Insurance Market

New AHIP Report Takes a Ten Year Look at the Unintended Consequences of State Efforts to Change the Insurance Market
Source: America's Health Insurance Plans

As states consider proposals to expand access to health care coverage, a new study assesses the impact of prior efforts in states across the country. Over the past decade, numerous states have launched “insurance reforms” with significant unintended consequences. A number of these initiatives were repealed or significantly changed within a few years of implementation. The study by Milliman, Inc. on behalf of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) examined what happened.

Specifically, the report examined eight states that enacted various forms of “guarantee issue” and “community rating” in the 1990’s, including Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington. The report found that these initiatives can have unexpectedly negative consequences for consumers, and can limit access to coverage.
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Overall, the report found that states that implemented guarantee issue and community rating saw a rise in insurance premiums, a reduction of individual insurance enrollment, and an exodus of health insurers from the individual insurance market. In addition, the report found no significant decrease in the uninsured population in states that implemented these initiatives, often a stated goal of legislators.

Consequently, several states that initially implemented guarantee issue and community rating have since repealed or modified their laws with the intent of stabilizing the insurance marketplace and providing consumers more choice and access to coverage.

+ Full Report (PDF; 193 KB)


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