Another year of big premium increases and dwindling choice is looking like a distinct possibility for many consumers who buy their own health insurance — but why, and who’s to blame?
President Donald Trump has seized on early market rumbles as validation of his claim that “Obamacare” is a disaster, collapsing of its own weight. Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Trump of “sabotage” on a program he’s dissed and wants to dismantle.
Under the Republican health bill, it’s up to states whether to dismantle key parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Red, or GOP-leaning, states are sure to be interested in rolling back the law’s coverage requirements and freeing insurers to charge people more when they have preexisting conditions.
As strange as it sounds, deep-blue, heavily Democratic states supportive of Obamacare, including California and New York, may be forced to do the same, according to experts, regulators and consumer advocates.
The failure of the GOP health care plan in Congress and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration’s next moves have left insurers skittish about participating in the Obamacare exchanges next year. And this could leave hundreds of thousands of Americans without an option for subsidized coverage.
The Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges have become too risky for major health insurers, and that’s creating further doubt about coverage options consumers might have next year.
Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said Wednesday his company is waiting to see whether the government makes some short-term fixes to the shaky exchanges before it decides how much it will participate next year. The Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier is the nation’s second largest insurer and sells coverage on exchanges in 14 states.
Four years ago, when President Obama predicted that the Affordable Care Act would result in lower health-insurance premiums, we gave him Three Pinocchios. The “Obamacare” law had not been fully implemented yet, but we reviewed nearly 10 reports from states across the country on the potential impact of the law and concluded the law’s provisions “will almost certainly increase premiums, though tax subsidies will help mitigate the impact for a little over half of the people in the exchanges.”
As we noted then, you can’t get something for nothing.
Read more at The Washington Post
Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That will stoke another “Obamacare” controversy days before a presidential election.
Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.
Enrollment in the Obamacare insurance marketplace is likely to stall or even decline for 2017 as higher premiums drive away people who aren’t eligible for government subsidies, according to S&P Global Ratings forecasts.
“Our forecasted modest-to-negative growth is clearly a bump in the road, but doesn’t signal ‘game-over’ for the marketplace,” S&P analyst Deep Banerjee wrote in a report released Thursday.
Minnesota’s Democratic governor on Wednesday said Obamacare is “no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people” — the latest sign of Democrats’ growing concern about the law’s rising insurance costs.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s criticism comes as his state faces massive rate hikes and shrinking competition in its Obamacare insurance marketplace next year. Dayton’s comments also come almost a week after Donald Trump and Republicans seized on former president Bill Clinton’s remarks lamenting Obamacare’s affordability problems.