COVERED CA CHALLENGES REQUIRE STRONG BUSINESS LEADERSHIP
The numbers for year two of Obamacare in California are in and they’re not very good. Covered California appears to be falling short of expectations for enrollment and plans to slash its budget in part due to lower than expected membership. Is this private health insurance market created by the Affordable Care Act in trouble? The short answer is no. California got a head start on its enrollment by requiring most people to join the marketplace in year one, and there are more than enough paying enrollees to cover its operational costs.
But even within that context, year two was a big disappointment. There were 500,000 new enrollees but a lot of attrition meant that Covered California only added one percent to its total enrollment. If this new agency is going to fulfill its promise, the business community needs to support its staying focused on its core purpose: selling subsidized private health insurance. We need to continue to advocate for Covered California to adopt best practices in insurance market design; only then can we succeed in the critical public objective of getting as many people as possible enrolled in affordable high-quality health insurance. To get involved in the Council’s healthcare policy work, please contact Policy Associate Emily Loper.