A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that premiums could double by 2026 for people buying coverage in the individual market after key parts of the Affordable Care Act are repealed. Moreover, 18 million people could lose their health insurance within a year. The New York Times reports that these CBO findings could lead the Republican leadership to delay dismantling of the ACA until they have a replacement plan.
Without a replacement plan for the ACA, the CBO estimates that 32 million will lose health insurance in the next nine years. These 32 million are in addition to the 26 million who are uninsured today. By 2026, we would more than double the number of uninsured in the U.S. from 26 million today to 59 million.
Republicans plan to eliminate funding for Medicaid expansion, which means 19 million people with Medicaid would lose insurance. Republicans also plan to end subsidies that have helped people with moderate incomes afford their insurance, leaving another 23 million without coverage. The CBO believes that employer-based coverage will increase some.
Republicans also plan to do away with the insurance mandate and penalty imposed on people who do not have health insurance. As a result, many insurers will leave the state health insurance exchanges. Insurers depend upon healthy people to join their health plans to keep premiums down.
Without the insurance mandate, many of the young and healthy will not sign up. Without these healthy people in the exchanges, the CBO projects that premiums will rise by as much as 25 percent in the non-group market during the first full year after a replacement plan goes into effect. And premiums will be about 50 percent higher once the premium subsidies are no more.
Here’s more from Just Care:
- Already, health plans have narrowed networks, jeopardizing access to good care for people with costly conditions
- Repealing the ACA means higher health care costs, precisely what Trump voters do not want.
- Live longer after a heart attack, choose your hospital carefully.
- Four key differences between traditional Medicare and a commercial health insurance Medicare Advantage plan.