Approximately 11.1 million people have health coverage through the ACA's state and federal marketplaces. The law provides financial assistance for people in those plans in the form of federal tax credits, which pay down premiums, and cost-sharing reductions, which pay down deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
Obama administration economists said the $6 billion decrease in ACA subsidies reflects “lower enrollment than previously projected.” Over the next decade, spending on premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies will be $308 billion lower than expected, the White House said.
Medicare spending also was revised down by $3 billion for 2016 and $87 billion through 2026 due to slightly lower projections of enrollment and “updated data” on how much Medicare beneficiaries will need care at hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities and home health agencies.
The federal government is expected to spend $586 billion this year on Medicare, and Medicare expenses are projected to top $1 trillion in 2025, the White House reported. However, Medicare is expected to remain stable over the next decade as a percentage of the U.S. economy, at around 3.3%.
The White House report comes the same week that independent federal actuaries estimated healthcare spending grew at a higher clip in 2015, and the annual growth rate likely will stay above inflation.