Blue Cross Blue Shield says there’s an “urgent” need to stabilize the ObamaCare markets. The push comes after Congress did away with the individual mandate with the so-called Trump tax reforms in December of last year.
Justine Handelman of Blue Cross said, “There’s an urgent need” and suggests that Congress needs to continue to fund the reinsurance — cost sharing reduction (CSR) — to help cover the costs for those sick patients who are a drag on insurers. Continuing the CSR funding will help keep rates down.
“Without the mandate we think that the single most important thing that can help offset that loss is dedicated funding for reinsurance,” Handelman said.
She notes that Congress has been seriously looking at stabilizing the markets and providing the CSR payments. While more conservative members of Congress think it’s an insurer bailout, the leadership does not.
Consultants Over Wyman projects a $15 billion a year reinsurance funding along with the CRS payments will significantly drop the silver plans — the most popular plan — next year by 17% less than they are now and 27% lower than they otherwise would be.
Kris Haltmeyer of the Blue Cross Association said, “When’s the last time you've seen an actual net reduction in rates? That's the type of outcome you could have with funding reinsurance.”
Haltmeyer said the effect of the repeal of the individual mandate is devastating in that fewer people will have health insurance and some insurers could end up pulling out of some markets. “There will be fewer people participating. It could have an effect in some areas on participation, but we really won't know that until the fall.”
Source link: The Hill