Bioethics Blogs

Obamacare Going into a Death Spiral?

Folks around the country are signing up for health insurance right now on the Obamacare exchanges, and some are seeing a very confusing set of options, with price hikes, or maybe not price hikes, and with subsidies, or maybe not such generous subsidies. Here is a great take on what’s happening in NC:

Obamacare Customers Look for Better Deals as Prices Rise

Cathy Allen pays less than $5 a month for health insurance through Obamacare’s Health Insurance Marketplace. But to keep her plan next year, her costs would have skyrocketed to $150, said her husband, Richard Allen.

Then the Allens got a call from Cumberland HealthNET, a local health care nonprofit, as the staff checked back with people they initially had helped enroll.

“I was glad they did,” Allen said. “She called me and told me to come in and they would try to help us find a better plan.”

After sitting down with a marketplace navigator, the Allens were able to find a plan that would meet her needs for about a dollar more each month.

This is a common scenario for people who already are enrolled in Obamacare plans, say local application counselors and health insurance navigators.

The prices for some Obamacare plans have gone up by double digits, in large part because not enough healthy people have enrolled to help offset the costs of older, sicker enrollees. Some experts see that as a challenge to the long-term viability of the controversial health insurance program.

Most marketplace customers will automatically be re-enrolled in coverage if they don’t actively update their application or change plans by Tuesday.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.