Colorado Now Expects 1 in 4 to Drop Obamacare Exchange Policy Next Year


The state of Colorado has doubled its expectations for the number of people who will drop or quit paying for their exchange-based health coverage next fiscal year, according to The Denver Post. At the close of Obamacare's first enrollment period in April, the state had projected a 13 percent drop rate, but that's been revised to 24 percent. Basically, a quarter of the people who get coverage through the exchange won't stick with it. 

There are two big implications for this revision. The first, which the article highlights, is that the state will generate $1 million less revenue than expected to help pay for continued operation of its exchange. The state charges a fee for each policy; more dropped policies means less money coming in to fund exchange operations. Current projections suggest that Colorado will still bring in enough revenue to pay its expenses next year, but a revision of this size suggests that other states which are less certain about how they'll pay for their exchanges now that federal grant money is running out may have trouble as well. As Vox's Sarah Kliff noted recently, Obamacare requires state-run exchanges to be self sustaining starting next year, but not all of them have clear funding strategies in place. 

The second implication here is that coverage through Obamacare may be more volatile than expected. Colorado is just one state, but what if this is the broader trend? There's some suggestion that this could be the case. One of the state's exchange finance committee members told the Post that the dropped-policy projection was revised "based on feedback we're getting from other states." 

If one in four people getting insurance through the exchanges each year stop paying or drop out for some other reason, then exchange-based coverage could turn out to be fairly unstable, and would probably end up being reshaped somewhat to serve the non-trivial segment of the exchange population that hops on each year only to quit the policy a few months down the road. 

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  1. seems optimistic. obamacare policies are a really shitty deal for most people.

    1. Yeah, I was thinking the same… Optimists.

  2. you mean top-down, one-size policies don’t work?

    1. No way!

  3. So….they got the 7 million they were shooting for, which turned out to be closer to 4 million, and now a quarter are expected to drop out? What is a quarter really? Is it more like a half, or more like two thirds?

    Does anyone have any inkling how many people are actually enrolled and paying, as in actually covered?

    This admin and their lackeys are such craven liars that it is impossible to know anything close to the truth.

  4. Obamacare: the perpetual slow motion train wreck.

    1. And to think the fun has hardly yet begun.

  5. Does anyone have any inkling how many people are actually enrolled and paying, as in actually covered?

    The administration is intentionally not collecting that information.

    Which should be trivially easy for them to get. The states could easily require monthly reports from the insurance companies about participation in HIE (and non-HIE) plans. The insurance companies track it internally on, I’m sure, a daily basis. All we need is somebody to collect and collate. But nobody is. Funny, that.

  6. The state charges a fee for each policy; more dropped policies means less money coming in to fund exchange operations.

    Sheesh, just charge a large annual dropped-policy fee.

    How hard was *that*?

    1. So you are going to charge people that never paid in the first place a drop fee?

      1. Daniel’s right. Better charge people with money instead, whether or not they signed up for anything.

  7. Of course, Of-friggin-course, there’s going to be tremendous roll-over. That was baked into the O-care cake with guaranteed issue. Healthy this year and can’t afford the additional expense? But next year you want to have a baby? Hold on skip coverage this year and purchase it next. People aren’t morons; they’ll buy it when they need it.

    1. they’ll buy it when they need it.

      What’s the opposite of risk pooling?

      1. Anti-selection

  8. Simple folks:
    The Free Shit party made a stink about medical care. The low-info voters gave them enough power to push through this steaming pile of shit. Now they can ignore it, because it takes a whole lot of un-organized people to gripe about it and get rid of it. And no, I don’t think it’s like prohibition in that people care about getting buzzed more than they do paying an extra thousand bucks a year.
    So, let’s see:
    “Income Inequality!”. DiD that fly? Uh, not much..
    “War on Wemmenz!”. Did that fly? Well, hold on. There’s a ton of imbeciles who are buying the ‘not supplying equals forbiding’ bullshit! It might be enough for the next round of steaming pile of shit!

  9. This article is really misleading. I realize that this is a publication with a bias, but you really lose credibility when you don’t accurately portray the issue.

    Here is the relevant quote from the article you cited that lead me to believe this.

    “Dropped policies can be from people who stop paying their premiums but also from those who had a life event, such as getting a job that provides coverage.”

    Your article also assumes that no one else will sign up for the exchange during this time.

    Lazy, yellow journalism.

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