And the CBO brings the hammer: (P.102)
Other technical changes to estimates of mandatory spending include a $6 billion decrease in CBO’s projections of outlays for premium and cost-sharing subsidies provided through health insurance exchanges over the 2014–2023 period. That decrease largely reflects lower expected enrollment in2014 in plans sold through the exchanges, and lower premiums for those plans, than previously projected.
In addition, CBO’s current projections include newly estimated payments (and collections) for the risk corridor program, a system of profit and loss sharing to limit the risks that insurers will face during their first few years of operating under the ACA. The government’s outlays for
that program are estimated to total $8 billion between 2015 and 2017, and its revenue collections from the program are expected to total $16 billion during that period.
- Bad news — CBO is projecting fewer people getting coverage in 2014 through the Exchanges.
- Good news -CBO is projecting that the failure of the Exchange launch only depresses enrollment for a year, enrollment resumes to trend in the out-years.
- Subsidies are lower because premiums are lower
- The risk corridors will behave like Medicare Part D risk corridors and be a net money maker for the federal government