Monday, May 8, 2017

ACA "Death Spiral" thanks to GOP/Trump repeal/replace Fumbling.

It's not the ACA exploding, it's the Trump administrations shoot from the hip health care debacle that's spooking the insurance horses. Remember, Republicans were once real big on whining about how "uncertainty" would destroy the economy...correction; health care.  
Uncertainty about what the Trump administration is doing with health care has already led insurers to increase costsHealth insurance companies are saying that no matter what happens with the Republican health-care bill in the coming months, premiums will go up in 2018 just from the uncertainty of the situation. "The health plans I work with want to stay in, but the Trump administration is not making that easy," insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski explained to Vox.In one example, CareFirst, a BlueCross BlueShield plan in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., submitted 2018 premiums last week that reflect hikes averaging between 39 and 52 percent depending on the state."Uncertainty breeds higher costs," New Mexico Health Connections chief executive Martin Hickey told Vox. "We have to plan for the worst case scenario until it finally gets decided."
Yup, right from the insurance industries mouth...
“We were hoping for more stability this year,” says Chet Burrell, chief executive of Carefirst, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan in the D.C. metro area. “But these factors have lead to instability, and the beginning of a death spiral.”

Burrell says that his plans would have had hikes this year anyway, because it has lost money during its three years on the Obamacare marketplaces. But it tacked an extra 15 percent onto its premiums because it does not expect the Trump administration to enforce the individual mandate.

“The current approach at the federal level has been to say they’re not going to enforce it,” he says. “We think the effect of that is to encourage healthy people not to enroll.”
Can't blame Obama: And he wasn't the only insurer:
Iowa could be left in a similar situation: 94 of its 99 counties are served by just one health plan, Medica, which is not committed to sticking with the marketplace in 2018.

“Without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability to Iowa’s individual insurance market, Medica will not be able to serve the citizens of Iowa in the manner and breadth that we do today,” the plan said in a statement to the Des Moines Register.

Two other insurance plans, Wellmark and Aetna, also quit the Iowa marketplace this year citing the law’s uncertain future.

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