Study shows impacts state-based individual mandates would have in 2019

A recent study by The Commonwealth Fund shows how state-based individual mandates could affect the individual market in 2019.

According to the study:

“If all states implemented individual mandates, the number of uninsured would be lower by 3.9 million in 2019 and 7.5 million in 2022. On average, marketplace premiums would be 11.8 percent lower in 2019. State mandate penalty revenues would amount to $7.4 billion and demand for uncompensated care would be $11.4 billion lower. The impact on coverage and on premiums varies in significant ways across states. For example, in 2019, the number of people uninsured would be 19 percent lower in Colorado and 10 percent lower in California if they implemented their own mandates. With mandates in place, average premiums would be 4 percent lower in Alaska and 15 percent lower in Washington.”

The findings are based on the assumption that the state mandates similar to the penalty structure under the ACA before the passage of The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.

Currently only three states have implemented state-specific individual mandates. Massachusetts implemented its mandate in 2006. New Jersey, Vermont, and the District of Columbia passed individual mandates earlier this year. However, Vermont and DC were not included in the Commonwealth Fund’s list of states with individual mandates.

Washington, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Maryland are among the states that have proposed implementing state-based individual mandates.

If state-based individual mandates were implemented in 2019, New Mexico would see the largest decrease in monthly premium costs on the individual market, with a 21.1 percent decrease. Six states would see decreases under 10 percent with Alaska seeing the smallest decrease of 4.4 percent.

States would also see a decrease in the uninsured rate if individual mandates were adopted in 2019. Montana would have the largest decrease of 23.7 percent and Hawaii would see the smallest decrease of 7.4 percent. However, these decreases don’t reveal a state’s total uninsured population.