The “three R’s” of reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk adjustment are intended to stabilize premiums and promote marketplace competition in the early years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. Risk adjustment, the only permanent mechanism, aims to deter insurance plans from trying to attract healthy enrollees and protects companies that may attract sicker than average customers by redistributing funds from companies with healthier-than-average customers to plans with sicker-than-average customers. This webinar explores the question, “How well does the ACA’s risk adjustment mechanism achieve its goal of compensating plans who attract costlier enrollees and eliminating the incentive to compete on selection?” The speakers address benefits and weaknesses of risk adjustment in the individual marketplace and discuss how this mechanism might be improved to address any shortcomings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how the ACA’s risk adjustment mechanism functions in practice
  • Learn about potential policy changes and alternatives to the risk adjustment mechanism under the new administration

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A. Garrett Brown

A. Bowen Garrett Ph.D.

Economist and Senior Fellow - Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute Speaker

A. Bowen Garrett is an economist and senior fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. His res... Read Bio

Kathy Swartz

Katherine Swartz, Ph.D., M.S.

Professor of Health Policy and Economics - Harvard University Speaker

Dr. Swartz’s current research interests focus on implementation issues related to the new health care reform l... Read Bio

Part One of a Three-Part Webinar Series

With the future of the ACA uncertain, this webinar series sought to examine various policies, regulations, and potential outcomes related to ACA implementation and how they could be amended to improve market stability and costs and outcomes for low-income populations. The series is a part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Policy-Relevant Insurance Studies” (PRIS) program, which supports studies that address the macro and micro effects of policies related to health insurance.

Part Two: Projecting the ACA’s Impact on Firm Self-Insurance and the Small Group Market

Part Three: Medicaid Expansions & Personal Finance