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

Defying Predictions, Obamacare Insurers See Boom Times Ahead

Health insurers are finding success in ObamaCare this year and are planning to expand their offerings in many states, defying expert’s predictions.

Insurance startup Oscar Health filed to sell ObamaCare plans in Florida, Arizona and Michigan for the first time, and will enter new markets in Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.

Smaller insurers are also making moves, such as Bright Health in Tennessee and Presbyterian Healthcare in New Mexico. It will be the first time Bright Health is selling plans in Tennessee, while Presbyterian is returning to the state exchange after leaving in 2016.

Experts have been hailing these developments, saying that insurers have finally figured out how to become profitable in the ObamaCare marketplace.

But the success is also coming in the face of persistent GOP hostility toward the health-care law and brings the risk of double-digit premium hikes for customers. Read More at The Hill

Only One County in US Remains Without an Obamacare Insurer for 2018

  • There has been a steady decrease in the number of counties at risk of having no Obamacare plans next year.
  • There had been 82 counties containing 92,000 Obamacare customers that were at risk of having no individual health plans offered in 2018.
  • Currently, there are fewer than 350 people who buy such plans in the only county still at risk of not having an insurer in 2018.


Read more at CNBC