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Market Stability? What Market Stability?

Jul 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – While some claim Obamacare’s withering markets are stabilizing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new analysis today showing that fewer health insurers are applying to participate in Obamacare’s exchanges next year.

The findings aren’t surprising, particularly after the 19th (of 23) CO-OPs announced in recent weeks that it will shutter its doors come January. The closure of all but four CO-OPs has cost taxpayers more than $2 billion.

CMS’ analysis shows that only “141 individual market qualified health plan (QHP) issuers submitted initial applications to offer coverage using the federally-facilitated exchange eligibility and enrollment platform in 2018. At the initial filing deadline last year, 227 issuers submitted an application compared to 141 this year, a 38 percent drop in filings.”

Thirty-eight percent? That’s almost as high as the percentage (46 percent) of Americans who dropped their Obamacare plans because of the high cost.

And while some observers, like Kaiser, may call the massive premium spikes in 2017 “…a one-time market correction,” the folks in Iowa facing 43.5 percent increases and the Marylanders who will experience a 59 percent increase may disagree. For those of you keeping score at home, the average exchange premiums rose 105 percent since 2013. Simply put, the so-called “Affordable Care Act” is costly for patients and insurers.

While there’s a lot of uncertainty around Obamacare, one thing is for certain: it doesn’t work for hardworking patients and their families.