Looking at America’s Health Care in 2017

This year has certainly been interesting in terms of health care. Right now, there’s uncertainty regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With the change in presidency, there’s been conflict between what President Trump wants to do and what President Obama’s health care law is. Currently, there has yet to be a resolution to America’s health care problem. So as it now stands, ACA is still the law of the land. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has release five new changes to the health care law for 2017 in the hopes of stabilizing the market. These changes will not only benefit consumers by lowering premiums, but they’ll also lower the financial risk to health insurance companies, who have been steadily losing money over the past few years. If their financial exposure is lessened, then they’ll be less likely to leave the market. 

Carriers Exiting the Market Means Fewer Qualified Health Care Options

Under the current ACA healthcare system, several carriers have lost significant sums of money each and every month. This past year the market experienced a mass exodus of carriers; insurance companies wanted out of the individual medical market because they were not turning a profit. This was not just an issue last year; carriers are still exiting the marketplace. Aetna, for instance, left several markets. United Health Care left nearly every market with the exception of about two states on exchange. Similarly, Cigna is limiting their participation in the market by leaving most states. Then there’s also Humana; they’re completely pulling out of all the individual markets. Over the past few years, the competition in every state has dwindled. Instead of seven or eight options on the market like it used to be a few years ago, now there’s only one or two options – maybe three if you’re lucky. In some states, there’s not even a qualified health plan option on the market in particular counties.

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