Only one insurance company will be participating on the Obamacare exchanges by 2017, affecting about one-third of all counties in the U.S.
The purpose of Obamacare was to improve “access, affordability, and quality in health care for Americans,” according to healthcare.gov. The study published Sunday shows it may actually be doing the opposite of it’s original intent.
Approximately 2.3 million enrollees will likely have just one choice of an insurance provider, up from just 303,000 people in 2016, according to a study published Sunday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The number of counties in America that have a single insurer participating in the exchange is astronomically higher in 2017, the research indicates. Some 225 counties (roughly 7 percent of American counties) had just one insurance option in 2016, and in 2017 that number is expected to rise to 974 counties (31 percent of American counties), according to the study.
Some six out of ten counties could have two or fewer insurance providers participating in the exchange in 2017. Pinal County in Arizona is expected to have “no insurers offering marketplace plans next year, despite talks between regulators and insurers aimed at filling the void,” according the Wall Street Journal.
In addition to American citizens losing access to care and insurance, insurance companies themselves experience huge losses when escaping the exchange. UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Humana have all left the Obamacare exchange, and additionally many smaller insurance companies have left.
Those companies that stay in the exchange are hoping for “sharp premium increases for next year,” to recoup losses from participating in the exchanges, reports the Journal.
The mass exodus of insurance companies from the exchange is “likely to lead to a very pricey exchange,” Harvard Business School professor Leemore Dafny said in an interview with the Journal. The impact on the wallets of Americans will likely not be felt in the short-term, since the government will subsidize to offset premium increases.
Like counties, states are buckling under the weight of the ObamaCare exchanges. Tennessee recently reported that the state’s Obamacare exchange is “very near collapse.” (RELATED: Obamacare ‘Near Collapse’ In Tennessee, Says Insurance Regulator)
Kevin Walters, director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that “Tennessee has consistently placed among the highest states in terms of risk scores –meaning that insurance claims costs per enrollee have been higher here than across the nation.”
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