Philip Klein reports:
With the Department of Health and Human Services announcing that plans that were supposed to be cancelled this year can now be renewed for another two years, “the health insurance plans participating in ObamaCare are a very worried group right now,” according to health insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski.
Because he’s in close touch with insurance industry executives, Laszewski became a widely-cited figure during the botched rollout of President Obama’s health care law, and now he says insurers who agreed to take part in the law are coming up against a key concern: “The fundamental problem here is that the administration is just not signing up enough people to make anyone confident this program is sustainable.”
But in a private email response, Doug Badger says:
Not sure that worry is justified. Roughly half of state insurance commissioners last year refused to let insurers renew non-grandfathered policies. Even in states where renewals were permitted, some insurers declined to renew the coverage. Going forward, one might expect additional insurance commissioners to balk at renewals and insurers not to renew coverage if it is not in their financial interests to do so.
As to the perils of an adverse risk pool, bear in mind that corporate welfare payments to insurers that sell through the exchanges will total nearly $15.5 billion, rivaling the $16 billion in premium and cost-sharing subsidies to individuals.