Health Insurance Premium Spikes Spurring Sales on Non-ACA Compliant Plans


 

Obamacare premiums appear likely to spike in 2018 and fewer health insurers are selling their products in the exchanges as a result of uncertainty over government support. That points to more plans being sold that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act.

A 28 percent premium increase, the lowest increase projected by Oliver Wyman Health, would make health insurance unaffordable for the average middle-class family of three with an annual household income between $82,000 and $166,000, according to eHealth Inc., the largest online health insurance broker.

The ACA provides subsidies for households with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which cover most of the 12.2 million people who signed up for exchange plans. But 7 million to 8 million people buy coverage in the individual market who don’t qualify for subsidies, according to Nate Purpura, vice president of communications for eHealth.

For those people, eHealth, which operates ehealthinsurance.com, is planning to offer more packages of products that don’t comply with the ACA because they typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions or coverage for maternity care, mental health or prescription drugs.

But the price difference is large. A typical package non-ACA compliant health plans costs $495 a month for family coverage in 2017, compared to $997 a month for ACA-compliant plans, according to eHealth.

“This is really an unbelievable year in terms of the lack of choice and affordability in the marketplace,” Purpura said.

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