Both Brazil and the United States have distinct experiences with reforming their respective healthcare systems. While the two countries have different systems and have pursued different types of reform on different timetables, there are lessons to be learned by looking at the two countries side by side.
Major healthcare reform has already occurred in Brazil over the past couple of decades. It is possible to draw relevant parallels between some of those changes and what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) includes for the United States.
There is much discussion about what will happen in the United States if the individual mandate is eliminated and underwriting remains prohibited. Taking a look at the evolution of Brazil’s healthcare system may provide some insight into this possibility and other possible outcomes of healthcare reform in the United States.
This new paper expores the comparison between health reform in Brazil and the United States.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) introduces new restrictions on insurers’ ability to use demographic variables to price policies in the individual and small group markets. Gender, age, and other community variables have long been used for premium price differentiation. However, beginning on January 1, 2014, rates may not differ based on gender, and must adhere to a maximum 3:1 ratio when comparing the premium for the most expensive adult age group and the least expensive adult age group.
These new regulations will increase the difference between healthcare costs and what insurers are allowed to charge in premiums, raising the potential for adverse selection as traditionally less expensive demographics, such as young males, seek other health insurance alternatives. Plans will also be allowed to vary rates by area, tobacco use, and family size, but those factors are unlikely to offset this effect. Although much of the recent focus on the implications of this change is on the age limitations, in reality much of the restriction’s impact is caused by moving to unisex rates.
See the full article here.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) mandates changes to health insurance products if they are to be sold through an exchange starting in 2014. These benefit design changes will not only affect insurer cost, but may result in several other consequences—most notably changes in utilization. Insurers need to properly prepare for and manage the potential for increased utilization and adverse selection when designing plans for entry into a health exchange.
Read the full briefing paper on this here.