This is the time of year that insurers have to put their cards on the table for next year. Since by now, ACA was going to be wildly successful, the ACA was to phase out the guarantee of Federal money if actuarial projections wildly understated actual costs. Now with two years of data, there is no reason to need “risk corridors” since the data on who will enroll and how much they cost is no longer so speculative. It’s time to set the premiums at levels reflecting actual costs.
United Healthcare has already folded their hand in NC. Cigna has volunteered to fill the void, but only over in the Research Triangle counties which have access to Duke Medical Center. Blue Cross would like another 18% and suggests they may selectively drop out county by county. Connecticut based Aetna expects to keep writing policies. They are acquiring Humana and previously acquired Coventry in 2013.
Lack of competition is never a good thing. If it looks like Donald Trump is going to win, health insurers will become even more reluctant to take risks. I suspect that in the event everyone pulls out or Republicans totally defund Obamacare, things will revert back to state run assigned risk pools under HIPAA which will leave me trapped in North Carolina – but that’s OK.
It’s just the premiums will probably go up to $2,000 a month for the remaining 4 years until Medicare eligibility. With my 2016 Cadillac United Healthcare policy, it’s June and my medical expenses YTD are currently $0.00. That might change, but I’m reluctant to find out all the things wrong with me – racking up new pre-existing conditions to scare insurers away in a post Obamacare apocalypse. I sincerely appreciate the people already on Medicare wanting to dismember the ACA. Perhaps I will be able to return the favor some day.