Health Care

Health insurers' early ACA exchange filings reveal effect of policy uncertainty

Health insurers' early ACA exchange filings reveal effect of policy uncertainty

Almost eight in 10, including about half of Trump supporters, say the president and his GOP allies should make the current health care law work, according to a Kaiser poll being released Friday.

This includes large majorities of Democrats (95%) and independents (80%), as well as about half of Republicans (52%) and President Trump's supporters (51%). Most Democrats (70%) and independents (59%) favor the bi-partisan approach, though almost half of Republicans (49%) and Trump supporters (46%) want Republicans to continue pursuing their own plan to repeal and replace the law.

Trump has recently threatened to cut off the payments for the cost-sharing subsidies, which reduce deductibles and co-pays for lower-income enrollees. "Some insurers explicitly factor this uncertainty into their initial premium requests, while other companies say if they do not receive more clarity or if cost-sharing payments stop, they plan to either refile with higher premiums or withdraw from the market".

By almost 2-to-1, poll respondents said it's good that the repeal-and-replace bill failed, and about 4 in 5 respondents want the White House and Republicans to focus on making the ACA better, the Associated Press reported.

When asked about the Senate's failure to pass a repeal-and-replace bill, most Americans (60%) say it is a "good thing", while about a third (35%) say it is a "bad thing".

"If Trump would just let Obamacare take its natural course, it would become obvious that the health insurance exchanges are not at all stable", Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant in Alexandria, Virginia. Three in 10 (31%) support President Trump using whatever tactics are necessary to encourage Democrats to start negotiating.

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The health law is more popular than ever with 52 percent of respondents saying they hold a favorable view of it.

Still, confusion about the law remains.

The proposals are subject to review by state regulators and don't account for the taxpayer-funded subsidies that will cover most of the costs for roughly 10 million people who seek their insurance on the exchanges.

"In the past, requested premiums have been similar, if not equal to, the rates insurers ultimately charge". Marketplace coverage affects only those buying individual insurance - not those who get job-based plans or Medicare or Medicaid. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample.

Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.