Reports Say ACA Saves Consumers Billions, but Cuts Insurers' Profits

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act saved consumers $1.7 billion on health insurance premiums last year, an HHS report found. Meanwhile, a separate study found that ACA provisions squeezed insurers' profits.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act saved consumers $1.7 billion on health insurance premiums last year, an HHS report found. Meanwhile, a separate study found that ACA provisions squeezed insurers' profits.

The HHS report cites two provisions directly affecting health plan premiums—a rate review for premium increases that top 10% and the medical-loss ratio standard that caps how much of premium revenue insurers can use for administration, marketing and profits.

In its report Thursday, HHS cites an analysis from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, which found that in 2012, insurers requested smaller rate increases in the individual and small group markets.

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Source: Modern Healthcare

The report said the average rate request in the individual insurance market dropped from 8.1% to 7.1%—a 12% decrease—and in the small group market, from 5.8% to 4.7%—a 19% drop. The data excluded the large group market.