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Are the ACA Exchanges Collapsing?

by Andrew SzczesniakJune 4, 2017 8:00 AM

When the Affordable Care Act passed in late 2010, one of the major tenets of the plan was the creation of healthcare exchanges in every state. These exchanges would be state-run with federal seed money used to create them. People who didn’t have coverage or had unaffordable coverage through their employers would be able to buy subsidized plans at a comparatively low cost.

The exchanges began with the implementation of the ACA in 2014. Of the 50 states, 23 of them were run by the federal government. In late 2015, it was reported that 12 of the 23 federally-run state exchanges were shutting down due to unsustainable losses. In some areas, things have gotten worse.

Image of healthcare exchanges. Learn about self-insured health care plans.

Withdrawal from the Healthcare Exchanges

Over the last couple of years, some insurance companies have begun announcing their intent to withdraw from the healthcare exchanges. In some counties, they were the last insurance company standing. According to a recent Washington Post article, dozens of counties across the country could be without any insurance companies in the exchanges. 

According to that same article, “that leaves 35 thousand marketplace enrollees living in a county with no affordable way to purchase insurance (As it stands, people who receive subsidies can only use them to purchase coverage in the marketplace.), and 2.4 million would be left with just one insurer’s plan to choose from. That’s out of 12.2 million enrollees total.”

What to Do Without the Healthcare Exchanges

If you’re an employer who counted on those exchanges for your employees to get coverage, what are you to do? If you’d like to take care of your employees and offer them coverage, you can begin shopping for a group plan, but you’ve probably heard about the extremely high costs of even the most basic coverage. You can wait for Congress to step in, but partisanship appears to be at an all-time high and the prospects of a quick resolution seem remote.

Another option is to look at self-insuring your healthcare through a level-funded plan, like the kind offered by GMS. To find out if this is something that could work for an organization of your size contact us today to talk to one of our healthcare experts about a self-insured health plan.

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