Here's your chance to explain whether this is Good or Bad news.
You may recall that in early May, Rebecca Stob, an actuary iin Washington State, wrote a guest post explaining why a new Standard & Poors report which had just come out was a bit troubling but no cause for major alarm (yet). It basically has to do with the "Three R's" put in place by the ACA (Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance and Risk Corridors) for insurance companies to help smooth the transition from the pre-ACA world over the first few years.
In her post, Stob referred to the fact that:
2014 results are still uncertain for the other 2Rs. What is reported in insurer's financial statements are still estimates and insurers won't know the results from risk adjustment and reinsurance until they get the final report in June.
Well, it's the last day of June, and sure enough, look what was just released...
As regular readers know, I repeatedly mentioned my presentation to the Society of Actuaries annual conference in Atlanta, GA a cuople of weeks ago. This was a Big Deal® for me for a couple of reasons: First, it was my first out-of-town speaking engagement; second, it's the first time I've flown anywhere in nearly a decade; and third, the event happened to take place smack in the middle of KingvBurwell-apalooza. Considering that this is the Society of Actuaries, that meant a hell of a lot; it was on everyone's mind throughout the event, especially since there was a good chance at the time that the Supreme Court decision would be announced the very next day (that Thursday).
One week ago I posted en entry titled "Color me shocked: Michigan GOP State Senator spewing nonsense", which documented an appallingly erroneous Op-Ed by Republican State Senator Patrick Colbeck riddled with basic mathematical errors about the Affordable Care Act.
Among the many factual errors included in Colbeck's essay were such gems as:
Between all the craziness surrounding the King v. Burwell decision and the indirectly-related Obergefell v. Hodges decision and it being my birthday weekend and all, a whole mess of ACA/healthcare stories piled up over the past week...
If I'm reading this correctly, it looks like a whole lot of poor people in non-expansion states were effectively forced into padding their official income in order to qualify for federal tax credits due to their GOP overlords being jackasses. I'm not sure whether that's a problem legally (as opposed to deliberately cutting your official income), but it seems to me that this will only work for so long before it catches up with them recordkeeping-wise?
I originally used this headline after the dust settled on the Year One open enrollment season to discuss my plans for the ACA Signups project going forward. I used it again less than 2 months ago, at the close of Year Two open enrollment (including the #ACATaxTime extension period).
Normally I'd hold off until sometime in February 2016 to pull it out again, but with the King v. Burwell decision out of the way, this seems like a good time to pause and take stock of what lies ahead.
OK, I do have one very quick post this afternoon, and believe it or not, it ties this morning's historic Supreme Court ruling allowing marriage equality for same-sex couples with yesterday's ruling on ACA federal tax credits.
How? Well, the HHS Dept. just posted this on Twitter: