Home > Employee Benefits > Study reveals Obamacare users no sicker than those on Commercial Group Products

Study reveals Obamacare users no sicker than those on Commercial Group Products

calc_moneyNewly published data reviewed by Reuters reveals that contrary to popular belief, Obamacare enrollees do not cost U.S. health insurers more than those with employer-sponsored insurance. Prior to the ACA’s launch, some insurers feared that individuals who purchased plans through Obamacare would be sicker than those covered by employer-sponsored group plans, be more likely to seek out costly specialists and to try to get the “most for their premium dollars.”

The analysis included thousands of 18-64 year olds with coverage under the exchanges who use ZocDoc, the free, online appointment-booking tool that’s now accessed by millions of members across the country. First year data showed that newly-insured members were scheduling PCP, women’s health and preventive care visits at a much higher percentage than commercially-covered members. Prior to Obamacare, preventive visits were likely a low-priority for the uninsured, but now that these services are free under the new law, more enrollees are taking advantage of their ability to access care.

As much as the data analysis was caveated, the insurance industry has taken notice. Insurers are now expanding their Obamacare offerings into more states, and business prospects look solid. In fact, one national carrier has come forward with results that show Obamacare exchange business actually being modestly profitable. While these results are surprising, experts are careful about jumping to conclusions. It’s possible that over time, a correlation may emerge between preventive visits and increased referrals for specialty care, so these patterns will need continual monitoring.

About the Author

Alyssa Martin is a Vice President at WGA providing proactive service, effective decision-making and advanced problem-solving capabilities. She works with key WGA clients to assist their employees with their individual Medicare choices as they are approaching retirement.

617.646.0350 | amartin@wgains.com | Connect with Alyssa on LinkedIn |
Follow Alyssa @Alyssaamartin

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