CBO: ObamaCare uncertainty will lead to 15 percent hike in premiums

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 19, 2017

However, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that his administration isn't really taking a hands-off approach to destroying Obamacare.

The agency said that it expects the individual health insurance market, even as it faces sharp premium increases and fewer insurers next year, to be stable in most areas of the United States. But the projected jump for next year is much steeper, the CBO says, "largely because of short-term market uncertainty-in particular, insurers' uncertainty about whether federal funding for certain subsidies that are now available will continue to be provided- and an increase in the percentage of the population living in areas with only one insurer in the marketplace".

President Donald Trump has threatened to end the payments, which are the subject of a federal court case challenging their legality.

Several insurers have said they won't participate in the markets next year, leaving many counties with only one insurer. Under Obamacare the companies are required to keep deductibles and co-pays affordable for sick and less wealthy individuals and families.

Also contributing to higher premiums in 2018, CBO said, is a higher percentage of the population living in areas with only one ObamaCare insurer.

Uncertainty in the market will likely be resolved by 2019, CBO said, with premiums expected to be lower. The subsidies provided by the government help reimburse insurers for these losses, which in turn helps control health care costs for individuals who make less than $30,000 a year and families of 4 who make less than $61,000 a year. Under President Trump it will only be open for six weeks from November 1 through December 15.

In addition, the CBO estimates that the projected increase in ACA exchange plan enrollment next year-from 10 million to 11 million-will be limited by "near-term market uncertainty and by announced reductions in federal advertising, outreach, the enrollment period and other enrollment efforts". The CBO says this undercuts any possibility of an increase in enrollment.

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