|The impact of Changing Health Legislation on the Individual Market Versus the Group Market|
On May 4th, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (HR 1628). The bill is now in the hands of the Senate. HR 1628 is drafted as a budget reconciliation bill, which can be passed by the Senate with a simple majority vote. However, the Senate has indicated it will be developing its own health care bill, rather than amending the bill approved by the House.
With the legislation surrounding healthcare in this country still unknown, insurance carriers are unsure of how to price premiums into 2018 and beyond, and whether they should remain in the individual market. Should carriers exit the individual health care insurance market, thousands of Americans could be left without health insurance. In addition, President Trump has not committed to paying cost-sharing subsidies. Cost sharing subsidies, focused on lower income ACA customers, reach nearly 6 in 10 of people who buy private health plans through the marketplaces (The Washington Post, May 22, 2017). So, for those carriers left offering individual health plans on the exchange, the insurance plans they provide may not be subsidized by the government, which would increase premiums significantly and making plans unaffordable to individuals.
So, how does this impact PHBP employers? It does not appear that PHBP will be affected at all based on either the American Health Care Act passed by the House or the proposals being discussed in the Senate. PHBP provides insurance through a large group plan insured policy through Anthem. The changes being discussed by Congress could significantly affect those who gain coverage through the individual marketplace exchanges and will not have any effect on the large group plan market.
For more information on health care legislative updates, please reach out to Susan Kaiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.