Government health insurance markets holding up, barely

Government health insurance markets holding up, barely

Government health insurance markets holding up, barely

In a high-cost county, the deductibles could range from $17,000 to $58,000. The AHCA would let employers opt out of providing employees health insurance or, if they don't opt out, would let them offer weaker benefits.

The early picture for 2018 looks much like it did for previous years: Insurers are retreating from some markets or charging a lot more to stay in others.

But the proposed AHCA would not require everyone to buy insurance and would use far less tax revenues, even from the wealthy, to help cover the cost. In particular, insurers have complained that decision-making has been hard without certainty that cost-sharing reduction subsidies, federal payments that help bring down the out-of-pocket costs for lower-income Americans, will be paid next year.

Paradoxically, that will primarily hurt not poor customers but millions of middle-class people like the Gorens, who earn too much to qualify for premium assistance under the law and will bear the full brunt of any rate increase. The so-called "Better Care Reconciliation Act" proposes drastic changes to Medicaid and it will strip many of these people, and the most vulnerable among us, of essential health care coverage.

While Republicans blame the Affordable Care Act for this type of increase, it's becoming abundantly clear that insurers are reacting to the Trump administration's effort to undercut the law.

Celtic is asking for a minimum increase of 24 percent, with a maximum increase of 117 percent.

While some insurers and state regulators have discussed limiting the sharpest increases to plans for people who receive premium subsidies - allowing unsubsidized customers to get lower rates outside the marketplaces - it remains to be seen how widespread such actions would be.

The health insurer Medica recently said it will return to Iowa next year, a move that saves most of that state's counties from having no exchange options.

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In the United States, 37 million children rely on Medicaid, including 973,000 OH children, which is 50.9 percent of the Medicaid enrollees in our state.

Along with other governors - Democrats and Republicans - we agree that the best place to start is to restore stability to our nation's health insurance system. "But I'm scared of what's coming". For Katie, maintaining access to affordable health care is a matter of life or death for her daughter, and she's anxious about what the future holds.

"We're sitting on it like Horton with the egg", Goren said, referring to the Dr. Seuss book. So politically, it should come as no surprise that the Republicans in Congress are trying to conduct as little of this in the public view as possible. A judge sided with the House past year, but the Obama administration appealed. If you care about health care (and if you are breathing right now, you should), call your representatives and let them know that this is unacceptable.

The House-passed proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act includes provisions to enact per-capita caps on Medicaid, cut Medicaid funding by billions of dollars and remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Lonnie Carpenter, 55, a self-employed roofer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is in that category. In a mad rush to get a health care bill to the president's desk, that promise has been broken time and time again...

Nationally, more than 4 in 10 insurers estimate that their rates will rise 20 percent or more, according to a survey by consulting firm Oliver Wyman Health.

Even as Trump has remained coy about whether to continue the cost-sharing reductions next year - or even, for that matter, after this month - some powerful Republicans in Congress have begun lobbying for him to do so. This process is so secretive that Republicans can not even muster a real defense as to why they are throttling this bill through Congress, preferring to tuck their tails between their legs and run away rather than engage their peers in constructive debate. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, who urged in a hearing last week that the payments be extended through 2019. The bottom line is that the individual market still needs reform. A 60-year-old woman earning $35,000 will have to spend almost $6,000 of her own money to buy an insurance policy. It is easy to take away health care from other people when you sit securely knowing your own family is taken care of if something happens. "We saved, but that money, it goes fast".

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