There was no death spiral, nor will there be one. And there was never going to be a “death panel.” Some people’s premiums went up, and a lot of people had their plans canceled, but people didn’t reject the law’s coverage options—at least 7.5 million people picked a plan through the law’s exchanges, and another 3 million got Medicaid coverage. People were willing to come back to HealthCare.gov, and enrollment spiked at the last minute—just as the White House had predicted.
The next big warning is about premiums for 2015. Critics say premiums will skyrocket because not enough healthy people signed up this year. Some insurers have said they expect hikes in the double digits in parts of the country.
At the same time, though, some insurers are looking to expand their presence in the exchanges next year, and others have indicated they might jump in for the first time, after taking a wait-and-see approach this year. So far, no large plans have said they intend to leave the exchange marketplace. All of that indicates that insurers see the market as stable. And more plans competing for more new customers will likely keep premium increases in check.