US Congress Has Limited Time To Stabilize The Insurance Market

A bipartisan group of House members and US Senators have from last summer been working towards putting measures in place that would keep insurance premiums from sparring out of control which would undermine the individual market. The individual insurance market serves Americans who do not get insurance through the federal government or employment. Its members are hoping to attach a package of changes that are set to be in the final temporary spending legislation for the 2018 fiscal year which is due late March. The legislators are up against a lawmaking clock and the timeline that has been set by the insurance firms.

Insurers have until this summer to decide on whether they are willing to continue with the sale of insurance policies on the ACA-based marketplaces. However, many of them are starting to make preliminary considerations as early as from next month. Experts in the Insurance industry have alluded that premiums are set to go up by the end of 2019 if no action is taken due to uncertainties in the market. It is projected the costs will be shared between the government and the consumers. It’s not, however, clear whether any package could attain the minimum threshold regarding votes in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. Most legislators from the Republican Party are loathed to be seen fixing the Affordable Care Act popularly known as ObamaCare.

This is happening amid opinion polls showing that the conservatives will take the blame for the legislation going forward. The pressure to have the current situation improved is being felt beyond the walls of Washington. Just a week ago, five state governors among them, one independent, one Republican and three Democrats, released a health system overhaul blueprint. Inside the document were several ideas for the stabilization of the health insurance system in the United States under Congressional consideration.

Legislators at Capitol Hill are looking at two significant fixes to the system which has the potential to be combined. One of the draft legislation that has been pushed by Senators Bill Nelson and Susan Collins from Florida and Maine respectively is reinsurance. This incentive would ensure that insurance companies pay for the sickest of their clients and have the guarantee that they would still be able to generate a profit and continue with business operations as usual. The idea is that insurance companies will not have to cover the healthcare expenses for the patients who are extremely expensive to treat.

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