Professor Mark Hall says Affordable Care Act saved consumers $1.5 billion

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Barack Obama’s health care law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows.

Much of those savings — an estimated $1.1 billion — came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. But the study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, which was co-authored by Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Hall, also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more ­efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law.

In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found. This was primarily true in the individual market where consumers buy health insurance on their own.

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