Views From the Market: Insurance Brokers’ Perspectives on Changes to Individual Health Insurance

Insurance brokers and agents who sell health coverage to individuals offer a unique perspective about how the market and consumers are responding to recent federal policy changes to the ACA.

The Issue

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) ushered in a range of consumer protections designed to make it easier for individuals to obtain affordable, adequate health insurance in the individual market. In many states, however, individual market consumers have faced increasingly limited plan choices, relatively narrow provider networks, and rising unsubsidized premiums.

Key Findings

Four takeaways from insurance brokers on changes to the individual health insurance market:

  • Healthy, higher-income consumers are being pushed out of the individual health insurance market.

  • Those leaving the individual market are purchasing cheaper alternative coverage options. 

  • Non-ACA-compliant plans offer higher commissions and marketing supports.

  • Brokers predict higher premiums in the individual market and expanded enrollment in alternative coverage options like short-term health plans.

Conclusion

Insurance brokers offer valuable insights on how people are changing their health care coverage given recent changes to federal policy. Better understanding these trends is a critical part of ensuring that insurance products fit the needs and preferences of consumers and, ideally, that they meet ACA standards.

About Georgetown's Health Policy Institute–Center on Health Insurance Reforms

The Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute is a nonpartisan, expert team of faculty and staff dedicated to conducting research on the complex and developing relationship between state and federal oversight of the health insurance marketplace.