Baseline Information for Evaluating the Implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996: Final Report. Effects of Group-to-Individual Portability Provision

10/01/1998

The largest controversy surrounding HIPAA relates to the probable effects of the individual insurance market reforms. Critics of these provisions argue that they would lead to steep price increases in the individual market and an eventual erosion of the individual market. Proponents believe they will guarantee continued access to insurance at little cost. Below we discuss estimates of the effects of the group-to-individual portability provisions and lessons that can be learned from state experiences with individual market reforms. We organize the discussion around two implementation mechanisms: guaranteed issue of some or all products and high risk pools.