As year six approaches, the health of the Affordable Care Act in Michigan is stabilizing, with premiums expected to flatten in 2019 after years of jarring spikes that sent enrollment numbers tumbling and consumers fleeing to cheaper plans.
But fundamental questions about the ACA’s future in Michigan persist:
- Will enrollment grow again after falling by more than 50,000 over two years to about 294,000 in 2018?
- Will enrollees continue to turn to cheaper and less comprehensive health insurance plans as they have the past couple years?
- Could a series of moves by the Trump administration to cripple – or kill – Obamacaresucceed in Michigan?
- Finally, to what extent will Michigan’s races for governor and the Legislature determine the ACA’s fate?
The good news for consumers seeking healthcare under the ACA: Premiums in 2019 are projected to rise by an average of just 1.4 percent, according to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, with one insurer actually cutting rates. That compares to a 27 percent premium hike in 2018 and 17 percent for 2016.
And while states like Nebraska, Delaware and Wyoming will have just one insurance carrier 2019, and Iowa just two, Michigan’s pool of insurers will grow from eight to nine as the next enrollment period begins Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15.