The uninsured rate in America went up in 2017 — and the number of insurers participating in Obamacare is going to go down in 2018.
According to a survey released by Gallup today, approximately 2 million Americans became uninsured in the second quarter of 2017.
Several marketplace factors could be contributing to the uptick in the uninsured rate since the second half of 2016. Rising insurance premiums could be causing some Americans to forgo insurance, especially those who fail to qualify for federal subsidies. Furthermore, some insurance companies are leaving the ACA marketplace, and the lack of competition could be driving up the cost of plans for consumers.
Uncertainty surrounding the healthcare law also may be driving the increase. President Donald Trump’s executive order permitting agencies to waive or delay provisions that “impose a fiscal burden” on individuals, as well as the prospect of a new healthcare law may be causing consumers to question whether the penalty for not having insurance will be enforced.
This may shock you — but, apparently, fewer people buy health insurance when government doesn’t mandate it. Imagine that. Also, higher premiums and less competition on the Obamacare exchanges are contributing to the increase in the uninsured rate.
In addition to the Gallup survey, more evidence of Obamacare’s implosion was released today.
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), fewer insurers are planning on participating in federal Obamacare exchanges in 2018.
Only 141 individual market qualified health plan issuers applied to offer coverage on the federal exchanges for 2018. By comparison, 227 issuers applied by the deadline last year. That’s a 38 percent drop in exchange issuer filings in one year.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement:
This is further proof that the Affordable Care Act is failing. Insurers continue to flee the Exchanges, causing Americans to lose their choice for health insurance or lose their coverage altogether. These numbers are clear: the status quo is not working. The American people deserve healthcare choices and access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage.
While the status of Obamacare nationwide looks terrible, we’ll know more about what’s going on with respect to Arkansas later this week. The deadline for health insurance companies in Arkansas to file rate increase requests with the Arkansas Insurance Department is Friday.
However, the national perspective is clear: higher premiums and less competition in health care markets continue to be a fact of life under Obamacare.