Monday, May 14, 2018

How Insurers "Underwrite" for Unhealthy Potential Customers

This is from Dr. Goodman and the entire post is well worth your time to read:
[PPACA has created] a perverse incentive to structure [a] plan so that it appeals more to the healthy and less to the sick.  [Because insurers are no longer allowed to underwrite based on individual health status]. Healthy people tend to buy insurance based on price. Sick people, however, look at likely out-of-pocket costs for their illnesses and want broader networks. By choosing narrow networks and high deductibles the insurers can kill two birds with one stone: with lower costs (and therefore lower premiums) they can make their product appealing to the healthy and unappealing to the sick. 
So instead of insurers providing what the market wants, part of what we are witnessing is a reaction to perverse incentives. As the Avalere report makes clear, this is happening in spades in the Obamacare exchanges.