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Report: Early ACA Enrollees Were Sicker Than Average

Beyond the enrollment numbers, enrollee health status has been one of the highest points of interest in regard to who has signed up on the Affordable Care Act's  marketplaces. After all, the makeup of the insurance pools will have a heavy impact on the cost of premiums. A new report shows that those who signed up in ACA plans early in the six-month enrollment period were sicker-than-average.Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management service, reports that use of specialty medications was higher among exchange enrollees versus patients enrolled in commercial health plans. Six of the top 10 costliest medications that were used by ACA enrollees were specialty drugs, compared to four in 10 of the costliest medications used by patients on commercial health plans.Health-status is key to keeping costs low for insurance companies, and in return, consumers. If only older and sicker people were to sign up, analysts say an adverse risk "death spiral" would occur, meaning young and healthy enro...

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