Insurance costs for millions in the U.S. are soaring as Obamacare comes to an end
By GREG PALMER Associated PressThe Affordable Care Act is set to come to an abrupt end next year.
The federal government expects insurance companies to begin filing their second-quarter earnings reports in March.
But they won’t be ready until mid-April.
Insurers say their revenues are already at the lowest level since the ACA passed.
Insurance companies say they are already in dire straits.
The rate of premium growth in 2017 was about 5 percent.
That’s about a quarter of the rate of growth from last year, the most recent year for which data is available.
Some of the cuts have already started.
Insurer Aetna, which has been hit hard by the ACA’s tax penalties and the threat of premium increases, said it would have to trim nearly 1 million workers and cut 2 million retirees by the end of 2019.
It said the cuts would reduce its 2017 gross profit by about $3 billion.
Insured Americans could have seen their premiums go up by about 10 percent by 2019, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It’s the highest premium growth since the recession and has been increasing for a decade.
Insure companies say the ACA is a major factor.
Aetan, the biggest insurer in the country, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Its share of the market has been expanding, fueled in part by the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA.
The expansion helped drive up insurance costs for the country’s poorest Americans, including the young and the poor.
More than half of those who are insured under the federal program now have coverage.
But the government has given states leeway to reduce coverage or charge more for some people, particularly older and sicker people.
That means some people are paying higher premiums.
The ACA has also been a drag on enrollment for a group of states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.
It has kept insurers from offering coverage to many people with pre-existing conditions.
Insuring people with disabilities and other health care needs is a different story.
Insulin, the only drug that can help people with diabetes, is expensive.
Insurers are cutting back on coverage for some of their oldest and sickest customers, which means they have to raise prices.
Insures are also slashing reimbursements for hospital stays.
The federal government reimburses hospitals and clinics for hospitalizations of people with serious health conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.
The rise in costs has been particularly devastating for older people and the sickest people, because many of those people were insured under Obamacare.
Insurances are not going to get much help from Congress.
A lot of the costs that insurers face come from federal tax increases that are not part of the bill.
Some states, like New York, are asking for a tax increase.
But some Republican governors are also seeking relief from the federal government.