Insurers Pulling Out Or Raising Rates As Feds Give Few Clues About Plans For Health Law
Uncertainty about the Trump administration's plans for the cost-sharing subsidies is "the big elephant in the room," says one actuary, and is creating problems for insurers. Also, reports on marketplace news in Connecticut, Georgia and New York, as well as a look at Anthem's strategy and the future of the individual insurance market.
GOP Uncertainty Over Obamacare Drives Out Insurers
Obamacare markets are undergoing a slow-motion meltdown as Republicans stoke a climate of uncertainty while struggling to agree on their own plan for overhauling American health care. The steady march of insurers that have announced plans to exit marketplaces in recent weeks leaves Obamacare customers in wide swaths of the country with potentially no options for purchasing subsidized coverage in 2018. In the latest and most significant blow, Anthem this week announced it will pull out of Ohio next year, leaving at least 18 counties without an insurer selling Obamacare plans. (Demko, 6/8)
The CT Mirror:
CT, Other States Taking Steps To Try To Save Obamacare
With uncertainty threatening the Affordable Care Act, states including Connecticut are making attempts — some more extensive than others — to keep insurers in their health care exchanges. Some states, including Alaska and Minnesota, have used an Affordable Care Act provision to establish reinsurance programs to try to stabilize wobbly insurance markets. (Radelat, 6/7)
Jitters For Georgia Obamacare Exchange
The future of the Georgia Obamacare exchange market looks a hair shakier early this week following disconcerting news from Ohio and Washington, D.C. ... Analysts suspected Blue Cross might pull out, leaving many rural Georgia patients without affordable insurance. So people who depend on such insurance were buoyed recently when Blue Cross filed plans to remain in Georgia. The company’s decision is not final, however. (Hart, 6/7)
Anthem’s Obamacare Exit Could Leave 300,000 Without Options
Anthem Inc.’s decision to quit Ohio’s Obamacare market will leave 13,000 people without any coverage option under the program next year. That number may rise to 300,000 if the health insurer follows suit in the rest of the states where it sells. Anthem, which currently oversees Affordable Care Act plans for about 1.1 million people in 14 states, is one of the largest of the multistate insurers that hasn’t pulled back sharply from selling individual plans in the ACA. In April, it said it was “assessing our market footprint in 2018,” and on Tuesday the company said it would leave Ohio. (Edney, Tracer and Recht, 6/7)
New York Health Insurers Ask For 16.6% Boost To Obamacare Rates
Health insurers in New York are seeking another year of hefty premium increases for their Affordable Care Act plans, adding fuel to the debate over the law’s future. Insurers are seeking to boost their premiums 16.6 percent on average for 2018, the state Department of Financial Services said Wednesday. While that’s not as high as the 18 percent hike they requested last year, it’s still a substantial increase in cost for New Yorkers who don’t get help from subsidies under Obamacare. (Tracer, 6/7)
Kaiser Health News:
If Insurance Market Crashes, Can Lawmakers Put The Pieces Back Together?
In his high-stakes strategy to overhaul the federal health law, President Donald Trump is threatening to upend the individual health insurance market with several key policies. But if the market actually breaks, could anyone put it back together again? The question is more than theoretical. The Trump administration has already acted to depress enrollment in Affordable Care Act plans, has instructed the IRS to back off enforcement of the requirement that most people have health insurance or pay a penalty and threatened to withhold billions of dollars owed to insurance companies. All of those actions make it more difficult for insurers to enroll the healthy people needed to offset the costs of the sick who make it a priority to have coverage. (Rovner, 6/8)