This week we are highlighting a study from Kaiser Family Foundation on counties that do not have any Medicare Advantage plans available and an update from MIB Life Index on Life Insurance activity.
Some Counties May Lack an ACA Marketplace Insurer Next Year – But Many More Lack Medicare Advantage Plans Today | KFF.org | August 1, 2017
With efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) apparently on hold, some policymakers may ramp up efforts to strengthen the individual market, particularly in areas with few if any insurers. During the recent debate, a fair amount of attention was focused on counties at risk of having no health insurers in the ACA markets in 2018. As of July 31, 2017, 19 ACA marketplaces nested in mostly rural parts of Nevada, Indiana, and Ohio are at risk of having no insurer next year, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Critics of the ACA say that the potential lack of insurers in these counties offers proof that the ACA is failing. But, does it?
We analyzed these counties to see whether the story looks similar for Medicare Advantage plans, and found relatively few insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans in the counties that could have no exchange plans next year. In 7 of these 19 counties, there are no Medicare Advantage insurers, and in another 8 counties, there are two or fewer firms now offering a Medicare Advantage plan – well below the national average.
In fact, 147 counties, across 14 states, have no Medicare Advantage insurer at all this year – nearly 8 times the number of counties that may not have a marketplace insurer in 2018.
U.S. Life Insurance Activity Declines 2.6% in July Reports the MIB Life Index | MIBgroup.com | August 8, 2017
U.S. individually underwritten life insurance activity continued to lose ground in July with the MIB Life Index composite down -2.6%, year-over-year. The MIB Life Index has declined in every month of 2017; year-to-date the composite Index is off -3.1%. In relative terms, the 2017 YTD index values (January – July, 99.92) compares just slightly ahead of 2015 YTD index values (99.73) for the same period. July application activity was -1.7% off pace from that of June 2017, typical of summer seasonality.