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Analysts: Health plan switching creeps higher

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) may be making health coverage arrangements stickier.

Consumers seem to be only slightly more likely to change their coverage than they were a year ago, and they seem to be less likely to move between insured and uninsured states.

Adele Shartzer and Sharon Long, analysts at the Urban Institute, have published data supporting that conclusion in a PPACA update.

The analysts used data from the organization’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey to look at what happened to the U.S. uninsured rate during the 12-month period that ended in September.

The analysts, who concluded in their commentary that PPACA has reduced the uninsured rate, found that 26 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 had some kind of change in coverage in the study period, down from 30 percent in the previous 12-month period.

The percentage of nonelderly adults who kept the same coverage throughout the 12-month study period increased to 57 percent in the latest period, from 46 percent in the earlier period.

The percentage who went from having one health coverage arrangement to some other arrangement rose to 4.7 percent, from 4.0 percent.

See also: High-income uninsured prospects are still out there

The analysts combined the figures for nonelderly adults who went from being insured to uninsured, or from being uninsured to being insured.

The percentage that either gained coverage or lost coverage and became uninsured fell to 18 percent, from 26 percent.

Some of the factors affecting plan mobility include enrollee interest in keeping coverage written before PPACA rules took effect, PPACA programs that help people pay for coverage, confusion about PPACA, and an open enrollment calendar system that limits when consumers with commercial coverage can change their coverage.

See also: Insurers and PPACA exchanges do enrollment time warp again

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