2017 Obamacare Rates
Obamacare( The Affordable Care Act) is going through a tug-of-war here in Florida. Many insurers are looking to double the rates by next year. The main reason for this has to do with the subsidies. These subsidies help many low-income families pay those hefty out-of-pocket costs.
These subsidies are facing some major uncertainty right now. Many are wondering whether or not they will be here in the future. This is one of the primary reasons that some are looking to hike up the rates by next year. This is not sitting well with many down here.
President Trump and His Actions
A spokesperson for the Office of Insurance Regulation has said that many insurers need to account for the possible reduction or elimination of these subsidies.
President Trump has made threats against these subsidies. Insiders are saying that he is doing this to mainly get a "repeal and replace" of the ACA through congress. According to his twitter, President trump has threatened the action of "no bailouts" for everyone including members of Congress, insurance companies, and his own party.
Actions Are Being Considered
Right now members of Congress are looking to extend these subsidies until at least the end of 2018. Many realize gutting them will cause many issues for lots of people. Certain members realize that those who buy their own insurance and come from low-income families will not be able to afford the health care they need.
"The market is very unstable right now. Some companies are leaving the market. Those who do not leave, they are raising the prices. They are afraid they will not be able to cover certain costs on their end. They put the rates on the patient. It is not a question of wanting to, it is a question of needing to and having to".
A preliminary reporting on this shows that some companies will raise these rates by as little as 1% up to almost 45%. Florida Blue is looking to raise the cost from about 9% to 24% by next year. This is with the subsidies still intact.
"We are hoping that these subsidies will remain intact, thereby assuring coverage. Right now the assurances are not there for either short-term or long-term. We may have to adjust the rates accordingly. We do not want to, but we may be forced to".
Douglas Bartel, Florida Blue
Most insurers have until the end of September to have something locked down. Many of these contracts may have clauses added to them. These clauses may be added for more protection.
"These clauses are there to protect the insurance companies and the customer. Once they get the rug pulled out from under them, they will want to exit the program. Insurers need a plan of action in case this happens".
There are two components to consider with health care coverage. Holding down a set premium each month is the first. The second component is helping out with some of the cost-sharing. More people are going to drop coverage, especially those who rely on these subsidies when this happens.
Who is going to leave first?
The young and/or healthy will be the first to leave. They do not need the coverage. This will leave the older customers and those who are not healthy. Some area may not even offer coverage at some point.
It remains to be seen what will happen with the subsidies. Recently, Cynthia Cox summed it up perfectly about the state our health care is in.
"This is a lose-lose situation here. No one is going to come out as a winner, regardless of which road we take".