Premiums increasing and enrollment decreasing on the Michigan Health Insurance Exchange

January 31, 2018

Enrollment in the Michigan Health Insurance Exchange came to a close on December 15, 2017. The final enrollment report from the Center for Medicare Services showed Michigan’s enrollment at 293,940. Our enrollment showed a nine percent decrease from 2017. 2017’s enrollment was a seven percent decrease from 2016 when Michigan’s enrollment was at its highest.

Since 2016, we’ve seen significant increases in premium costs on the individual market. The chart below shows the average premium on the individual market for a silver-metal tier plan. Silver-metal tier plans are, traditionally, the most selected plan on the exchange. As premium costs for these plans and all plans on the Exchange have increased, enrollment has decreased. There’s a clear correlation between the cost of coverage on the market and decreased enrollment.

We must actively lower this barrier to coverage in order to keep enrollees on the market and to attract more Michiganders to the marketplace. Michigan ranks highly nationwide with an uninsured rate at six percent. We should be actively pursuing options to reach five percent where the national leaders are. We must explore options, such as a 1332 State Innovation Waiver to achieve our dual goals of market stabilization and reach a nation-leading status in uninsured rate.

The chart above shows the change in enrollment each year on the exchange starting with the inception of the exchange in 2014. The lines represent the rising cost of premiums, on a dollar and percentage basis, on the individual exchange for silver metal tier plans. To view a larger version of the chart click: https://www.screencast.com/t/s4K9Nvf31