Aug 13, 2021
The authors used the RAND Corporation's COMPARE microsimulation model to estimate the impacts of policy options that would increase the affordability of health insurance in Connecticut. For each policy scenario, they calculated enrollment, premiums, consumer spending, and state spending and considered whether the results differed by race, ethnicity, or income group.
Policymakers in Connecticut are considering various options to increase the affordability of insurance in the state, such as expansions to premium and cost-sharing reduction subsidies on the state's health insurance marketplace, as well as expanded plan offerings, including extending eligibility for the state employee health plan (SEHP) to other groups and a publicly contracted, privately operated plan (the public option plan) offered to individuals on the marketplace. The authors used the RAND Corporation's COMPARE microsimulation model to estimate the impacts of such policy options. For each policy scenario, they calculated enrollment, premiums, consumer spending, and state spending and considered whether the results differed by race, ethnicity, or income group.
The individual market reforms substantially increased affordability for people with incomes between 175 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), reducing out-of-pocket spending as a share of income by 50 percent in some scenarios. Changes to affordability for higher-income groups were smaller, in part because the proposed policy changes for people with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of FPL were relatively modest and focused only on reducing cost-sharing (not premiums). New costs to the state for 2023 ranged from $19 million to $94 million, depending on the scenario.
All four SEHP specifications led to the same bottom-line conclusion that offering a SEHP plan would improve insurance coverage and affordability for those eligible for the plan. Expanding eligibility for the SEHP holds promise for stabilizing or reducing consumer costs, improving plan generosity, and bringing more people into the market.
Results from Analysis of Supplemental Subsidies and Public Option Plan
Results from SEHP Analysis
Overview of the COMPARE Microsimulation Model
Subsidies and Public Option Plan Results If ARP Subsidy Enhancements End After 2022
Analysis of SEHP Plan If ARP Subsidy Enhancements End After 2022