On August 24, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced that CareSource would sell Obamacare plans to Paulding County, a rural area that straddles the Indiana border.
This was the last bare county in America, meaning the last county in the U.S. that would have been without Obamacare individual coverage in 2018. All citizens now have access to affordable Obamacare plans for the 2018 Open Enrollment Period, which begins on November 1, 2017, and ends on December 15, 2017.
State governments have long been anxious about these bare counties, where no insurance provider was willing to sell plans under the Affordable Care Act.
According to an article by Politico, 82 counties equating to approximately 100,000 individuals faced the danger of having no insurance options for the 2018 annual period.
This has led state politicians to aggressively negotiate with insurance companies over the last few months. These negotiations successfully resulted in coverage options in every district, culminating with the announcement involving Paulding County yesterday.
It Comes Down To Money
Insurance companies tend to operate with a capitalist intention. They will only enter certain marketplaces if there’s money to be made, otherwise it’s seen as a risk that could incur a severe financial loss.
Several states including Washington, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, and Wisconsin contained several bare counties but saw them filled over the last two months, according to Business Insider.
There’s still a bit of skepticism in the air as this is only a temporary fix. “This is a temporary solution and one that only applies to 2018,” said Jillian Froment, who serves as the Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Beyond that, insurers are still looking for predictability in the health insurance market,” she added.
The future remains murky, as these insurance companies have yet to finalize their contracts, meaning they could still pull out. Several sources state the contracts are typically finalized at the end of September, so this could all fall through, and certain counties would be bare once again.
The Trump administration and the Republican Party have also added fuel to the fire by using these bare counties as proof the Affordable Care Act is unsustainable and needs to be repealed. This leads to the repeated attempts made in Congress over the last few months to try and pass a repeal-and-replace bill that would officially dismantle Obamacare.
Several news outlets even reported that Trump said, “Obamacare is death,” during an impromptu speech from the bully pit in January 2017, adding that it’s “a meaningless promise.”
This coupled with the fact the administration has repeatedly threatened to withhold key monthly cost-sharing reduction payments has threatened to destabilize the insurance industry altogether.
The future does seem ambiguous, but it’s important to remain calm and trust HealthQuoteInfo for the most reliable information regarding the health insurance industry. If you have any remaining questions, give one of our agents a call at 855-614-5057.