A.C.A. repeal without replacement could spur insurer exodus

Summary: “The incoming Donald Trump administration and Republicans in Congress reportedly are rushing to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act within days of taking office, with a possible delay of a year or two while they craft a replacement package,” Harris Meyer writes over at Modern Healthcare. “They’re also discussing quick administrative moves to unravel the ACA, such as terminating payments to insurers that compensate them for reducing cost-sharing requirements for lower-income exchange plan members. But pro-ACA experts and some insurers warn that repealing the law without passing a replacement, combined with administrative actions undermining the law, could prompt health plans to abandon the individual insurance markets in 2018. That’s because insurers have to calculate and submit their 2018 premiums by spring, and that task will be difficult or impossible if they don’t know the rules of the new Republican-led system. The turmoil likely would affect both the exchange and off-exchange markets, through which nearly 20 million Americans get coverage, they say. ‘I would not be surprised by a stampede to exit the market for fear of uncertainty and the strong potential for adverse selection,’ said Mike Kreidler, Washington state’s insurance commissioner, at a news conference Wednesday organized by the liberal Center for American Progress. Kreidler said he’s already gotten calls from nervous insurance leaders and plans to meet soon with the CEOs of the three major insurers in his state, where half a million people have gotten coverage under the ACA.” Harris Meyer, “A.C.A. repeal without replacement could spur insurance exodus,” Modern Healthcare.