A few states have found a key to undoing some of Obamacare’s damage to their individual health insurance markets by redirecting some federal funding to help sick people. These states are providing separate assistance to those with the highest health costs, thereby reducing premiums and increasing enrollment for healthy people driven out of the market by soaring costs.
In June, the Health Policy Consensus Group released a health care reform plan called “The Health Care Choices Proposal.” The stated purpose of this plan, referred to in this report as the Proposal, is the expansion of choice and lowering of costs. The Proposal’s key feature is a block grant allocated to the states beginning in 2020, giving states resources and authority to design their own programs aimed at making insurance more affordable. All impacts projected in this report are relative to H&E’s March 2018 baseline.
- Premium Impact: The Proposal is projected to decrease the cost of premiums for private individual market health insurance coverage. Silver plans would see the largest impact, as premiums would decrease by 15 to 32 percent beginning in 2020 relative to the baseline.
- Coverage Impact: The Proposal is projected to result in nearly 1 million fewer people purchasing insurance by 2028, with enrollment holding steady earlier in the 10-year window.
The average cost of employer health coverage offered to workers rose to nearly $20,000 for a family plan this year, according to a new survey, capping years of increases that experts said are chiefly tied to rising prices paid for health services.
Annual premiums rose 5% to $19,616 for an employer-provided family plan in 2018, according to the yearly poll of employers by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. Employers, seeking to blunt the cost of premiums, also continued to boost the deductibles that workers must pay out of their pockets before insurance kicks in
When Republicans tried to repeal the 2010 health care law last year, Democrats knew they had an issue that would define this election cycle. A year and a half later, health care is still dominating Democratic messaging.
Take New York’s 19th District, which stretches where GOP freshman John J. Faso faces Democratic lawyer Antonio Delgado.
“Everywhere I travel across this district, and it’s big, there’s no doubt that health care is the most important issue on people’s minds,” Delgado said at a recent candidate forum here in the sprawling upstate district. “We’re in crisis.”
As Democrats enter the final sprint in a campaign where health care is a dominant issue and a House takeover seems achievable, they are split on whether to promise coverage for everyone, which would fuel an already revved-up liberal base, or target centrist voters by campaigning on the more modest goal of fixing the Obama-era health law.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on Wednesday cited reduced Obamacare premiums and expanded choices as evidence that the Trump administration has not “sabotaged” the healthcare law, as charged by Democrats.
“For the very first time, rates have [been] going down… I think we have been successful in that area,” Verma said at an event hosted by the Economist Group in D.C.
The CMS has tweaked one of its coverage processes to ease access to medical devices. There are two Medicare coverage types, one that allows national coverage and one that allows Medicare contractors to pay for services or items on a local or regional basis. The agency has modified the latter.
The Health Care Choices plan would let Idaho find its own solutions to help the working poor. The state would receive a formula grant and gain new flexibility to approve policies that are more affordable than Obamacare.
If Idaho votes instead to accept Medicaid expansion, taxpayers, the privately insured, and especially those who need traditional Medicaid would pay an unfortunate price.
Obamacare’s individual mandate has been paid 19.6 million times, forcing Americans to send $8.4 billion to Washington. Over 80% of penalty payers made less than $50k/year.