Manatt Health Partner Robert Belfort and Senior Advisor Tara Straw were quoted in HealthPayerIntelligence on their predictions for health insurance market developments in 2023, especially with regard to the payer and provider dealmaking landscape as well as how policy changes may impact employer-sponsored health plan enrollment.
In the article, Belfort explained how health insurers’ merger and acquisition decisions will be affected by both past trends and new influences in 2023, noting that some insurers may acquire smaller, more niche health plans, for instance. “Fundamentally, health insurance is a business that requires scale, so you don't get a lot of small players that remain in the market for a long time,” he explained. Belfort also noted that technology vendor acquisitions will dominate the payer dealmaking landscape and that greater adoption of Medicaid expansion could also impact payers’ deals.
Straw provided commentary on how the public health emergency unwinding will change employees’ eligibility for Medicaid, driving them to enroll in employer-sponsored health plans instead. She also explained how HHS’ “family glitch” rule—which allows families without access to affordable employer health plans to purchase coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplace—may result in some employees shifting away from their employer-sponsored plans, but noted that the influx from Medicaid as a result of the PHE unwinding will be more significant. Straw also emphasized that the employer penalties for failure to offer affordable coverage to full-time employees won’t be triggered by employees’ family members leaving the employer’s plan for the marketplace. “That might be a concern of some employers who might be less familiar with the rules, thinking that the loss of those family members is going to somehow escalate their potential penalties under the ACA, but that just isn't the case,” she said.
Straw was also quoted in InsuranceNewsNet, where she provided similar analysis on how policy changes may affect the insurance landscape over the next year.