Health Status of Exchange Enrollees: Putting Rate Shock in Perspective

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This analysis compares the population most likely to enroll in the ACA's nongroup exchanges to those who now have employer coverage, focusing on characteristics related to health risks. If the populations are comparable, unsubsidized premiums in the reformed nongroup market should be set at reasonable levels once reform is fully phased-in. While individuals with higher-than-average health care needs may be somewhat more likely to enroll in the nongroup market in the first year, once past the transition period, the health characteristics of nongroup enrollees can be expected to be quite similar to those with employer-based insurance.

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Date: Aug 2013
Author: Urban Institute