With startling serendipity, a month to the day after the ACHA passed out of the House, Anthem joined Aetna, Cigna, and Humana in quitting the ACA health plan marketplaces in Ohio. The very next day, Premera Blue opted to end participation in two counties in Washington state, adding another region of the country poised to be without coverage through the ACA. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is also planning exits impacting some 25 counties in western Missouri.
And now that we’ve seen what’s in the Republican’s Senate healthcare bill, it’s unlikely those health insurers will reverse their business-driven decisions. In the process, the problems for individuals and families with coverage through an ACA marketplace will get worse in all probability. What’s more, those who have employer-provided health plans are contending with their own set of healthcare-related troubles.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 83% of workers who are getting some form of coverage through their employers have plans with deductibles. That dollar amount has gone up nearly 50% in the last five years. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show one-quarter of those covered have high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), and most anticipate this form of policy will soon become the standard. Kalorama Information, a medical market research firm, noted recently that Americans will be shelling out a stunning $608 billion from their own pockets by 2019.