More than a million will lose their Obamacare insurance plans over the next year
A survey by Bloomberg News of 32 states has found that more than 1.4 million Americans will lose their insurance plans over the coming year.
Open enrollment for Obamacare starts in a couple of weeks, and the abandonment by several large insurance companies of the Obamacare exchanges means that hundreds of counties across the country will have only one choice of plans.
Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage begin next month. Fallout from the quitting insurers has emerged as the latest threat to the law, which is also a major focal point in the U.S. presidential election. While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be, interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals.
It may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink. As of March 31, the law covered 11.1 million people; an Oct. 13 S&P Global Ratings report predicted that enrollment next year will range from an 8 percent decline to a 4 percent gain.
Last year in Minnesota, Theresa Puffer, 61, used Obamacare to sign up for a BlueCross BlueShield plan after leaving her job following a skin cancer diagnosis. “I would have had a hard time finding any sort of coverage before the ACA,” Puffer said by phone.
Next year, Puffer’s plan is disappearing from Obamacare -- making her one of about 20,000 Minnesotans in the same situation. To make matters worse, premiums for other plans in the state will rise by at least 50 percent, though subsidies under the law can help cushion the blow.
“Trying to determine which would be the best plan for my situation is not easy,” Puffer said. Her dermatologist appears to be out of network in other plans, she said. “I’m willing to pay a higher premium to see him, because when you have cancer you want to stay with the same group of doctors,” she said. “I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out what my options are.”
Bloomberg contacted officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and the 1.4 million-person estimate includes 32 states and only plans sold on the individual “exchange” markets. In Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Missouri, insurers have pulled out, but regulators couldn’t or wouldn’t say how many people are affected. Three states didn’t provide sufficient data.
Minnesota isn't the only state in the midst of an Obamacare meltdown. The Senate Republican Communications Center has links to several articles describing the dire state of Obamacare in other locations.
“South Carolina becomes the fifth state to officially be left with a single insurer in the Obamacare exchanges, with Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Based on current projections, North Carolina and Kansas could also be left in the same boat.”(“There Are Now 5 States With Only One Insurance Company Offering Obamacare Plans,” Business Insider, 10/04/2016)
NORTH CAROLINA: “As major insurers jilt their ACA customers, nowhere in the country will more people be left with only a single insurer when the marketplaces open for a fourth year of business.These defections are causing turbulence for a quarter-million North Carolinians whose insurance companies are leaving the state— and for the main insurer that will remain.” (“In North Carolina, ACA Insurer Defections Leave Little Choice For Many Consumers,” The Washington Post, 10/14/2016)
TENNESSEE: “…seismic changes to the state’s insurance options…”(“BCBST's Exit From 3 Obamacare Markets Sends Shock Waves,” The Tennessean, 9/27/16)
“In Tennessee, UnitedHealth and the state’s BlueCross BlueShield plan are pulling back, and about 117,000 people will lose the plans they have now.”(“More Than 1 Million In Obamacare To Lose Plans As Insurers Quit,” Bloomberg, 10/14/16)
ARIZONA: “Nearly 60,000 people, enrolled in Obamacare in Maricopa County, will soon be left with just one provider.”(“60K Self-Insured In Maricopa County Lose Coverage, Left With 1 Healthcare Provider,” Fox 10 Phoenix KSAZ, 10/04/2016)
NEW JERSEY: “Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey will shut down for next year, forcing 35,000 people to find new insurance by Jan. 1. The shutdown leaves just two companies doing business on HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act marketplace for New Jersey. And it highlights the flaws of President Obama’s signature health law, as well as the difficulties of starting a new insurance company.” (“Health Republic Insurance Of New Jersey’s Demise Exposes Flaws Of Obamacare,” The Record, 10/3/16)
FLORIDA & MISSISSIPPI:“Nearly three-fourths of Florida’s counties and more than four-fifths of Mississippi’s will be down to one insurer.”(“In North Carolina, ACA Insurer Defections Leave Little Choice For Many Consumers,” The Washington Post, 10/14/2016)
Even with generous subsidies, consumers are finding it hard to afford Obamacare plans. Skyrocketing premiums are preventing millions from purchasing health insurance.
The president and Democrats are blaming Republicans for not bailing out insurance companies. No doubt the media will agree. But given the results of three previous elections, the American people know who the cultprits are who imposed this disastrous system on them.