Next Year’s Obamacare: More Insurers but Steeper Prices

Health insurers are planning to expand in Obamacare amid rising profits, but the trend is coming at the expense of higher premiums for certain customers.

Premiums are expected to rise by an average of 15 percent for customers whose incomes aren’t low enough to qualify them for subsidies, according to early estimates from Avalere Health.

Still, the entrance by insurers into Obamacare is a reversal from years of exits. Health insurers were fleeing Obamacare in droves around this time last year, and it looked as though people in as many as 47 counties would have no options for coverage.

The Trump administration and Republicans have made several changes to Obamacare since then that Democrats call “sabotage.” President Trump ended payments to insurers, the GOP tax law will end the requirement in 2019 that people must buy health insurance or pay a fine, and people soon will be able to buy less-expensive coverage that doesn’t follow Obamacare’s rules.

Yet, the Obamacare exchanges are showing an unexpected trend: No empty counties have been reported. Not only are insurers not leaving, but they’re also expanding or returning. Read More at the Washington Examiner

Everyone Agrees Obamacare Prices Have Been Rising Rapidly. But Everyone Is Wrong

It has been well-publicized that premiums for Obamacare insurance plans have been rising at a disturbing rate. Local news is filled with reports of 21.5%36.3%, and even higher price hikesPresident Trump complained in February that Obamacare premiums “have increased by double and triple digits,” even remarking that premiums in Arizona “went up 116% last year alone.” If the cost of buying insurance was really rising this rapidly, we’d have a reason for bipartisan agreement that the Obamacare insurance experiment is a failure. But the rise in Obamacare premiums isn’t even close to the magnitude we are hearing about from reporters and politicians. And it is not because of fake news or dishonest discourse. It’s because everyone is looking at what’s for sale rather than what’s being sold.

Read more at Forbes

Many States Blame Trump, GOP for Obamacare Premium Increases

Twenty states attribute ObamaCare premium increases next year to uncertainty caused by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, according to a new report released Thursday.

The report from pro-ObamaCare group Protect Our Care analyzed the 28 states where final, state-approved rates are public and found that 20 specifically cited uncertainty at the federal level for at least part of the reason for increases.

Insurers have pleaded with the Trump administration for more certainty over whether ObamaCare’s insurer subsidies will be paid but have yet to get it.

Read more at The Hill

Trump’s Threats to Obamacare Subsidies Could Hurt Hospital Admissions

The rise in out-of-pocket health costs worries hospital operators now forecasting a downturn in admissions if patients don’t get relief from high deductibles and co-payments via subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Already, hospitals are seeing soft admissions as employers and commercial carriers shift more out-of-pocket costs onto workers for their surgeries and related hospitalizations. It’s a trend hurting large hospital operators like Tenet Healthcare and HCA Holdings and is beginning to spread to nonprofit hospitals and health systems as well.

Read more at Forbes

Most of Your Obamacare Price Hike Next Year Will Be Due to These Very Big Questions

  • Obamacare customers could face rates that are 28 to 40 percent higher because of insurers’ concerns about Trump administration actions.
  • Although most insurers expect to stay in the Obamacare market, 42 percent said they would exit if the federal government stops paying them certain key subsidies.

Read more at CNBC

Obamacare Premiums Are Going Up. Whose Fault Is It?

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.

Read more at NBC News

The Real Reason Insurers Are Jacking up Rates for Obamacare

  • Obamacare is lurching towards a bizarre form of stability thanks to subsidies.
  • Obamacare subsidies gives insurers the cover they need to jack up rates.
  • Even if rates rise dramatically, subsidized customers will still be profitable for insurers.

Read more at CNBC

Why Even ‘Blue’ States Might Ditch Beloved Obamacare Protections

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.

Read more at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

More Insurers Abandon Obamacare. Who Might Be Next?

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.

Read more at CNN

Obamacare Uncertainty is Scaring Off Health Insurance Companies

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.

Read more at NBC News