The U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace is heading into its fourth open enrollment (OE4) season. After two successive years of growth in marketplace enrollees, 2017 will likely see a significant slowdown in this pace. S&P Global Ratings is forecasting that the ACA marketplace enrollment (effectuated) will range between 10.2 million and 11.6 million for 2017.
- We forecast 2017 ACA marketplace enrollment (effectuated) to range between 10.2 million and 11.6 million.
- Increased outreach to eligible uninsured will add to the marketplace, but potential premium increases will deduct for the current nonsubsidy enrollees.
- Our forecasted modest to negative growth is clearly a bump in the road, but doesn't signal "game-over" for the marketplace.
We expect 2017 to be one step forward in increasing penetration to the subsidy-eligible uninsured and off-marketplace population, but one step back for the nonsubsidized marketplace population. The floor to our forecast is the subsidized marketplace enrollees, who remain somewhat hedged against the impact of premium increases.