Individual health insurance in Arizona may not be available in 2017 – for people who live outside Maricopa or Pima counties.
The Arizona Republic reports that only Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBS) has filed paperwork to sell individual health insurance in all Arizona counties in 2017. But BCBS isn’t sure if it will actually offer coverage in every county next year.
Humana and UnitedHealthcare are exiting the Arizona individual market completely, while Health Net will pull out of rural/smaller markets.
In 2014, when Obamacare kicked in, the Arizona individual health insurance market had lots of competition and some of the lowest premiums in the country. What happened to drive major insurance companies out of the Arizona market?
- Insurance companies are losing money because their claims payouts are more than premiums collected.
- Republicans killed “risk corridor” funding that was meant to protect insurance companies from financial losses in the first three years of Obamacare.
- Republicans just won a lawsuit to stop the federal government from paying insurance companies for “cost sharing” on behalf of people whose income is below 250% of the federal poverty level. People whose income is above the level to qualify for Medicaid (AHCCCS in Arizona), but below 250% FPL, get their health insurance deductibles and co-pays reduced when they enroll in a Silver plan. People in this income bracket will likely drop their coverage if they don’t get this help.
Republicans in Washington, DC are killing individual health insurance in Arizona and around the country.
Republicans have vowed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but actually, they are killing Obamacare slowly – and they are willing to take down insurance companies to do it. And Republicans are willing to leave tens of thousands of Arizonans with no health insurance options at all.
Republicans will stop at nothing to destroy Obamacare, even though Obamacare is based on a Republican model – just like Romneycare in Massachusetts and just like New Gingrich’s plan from the 1990’s. They don’t care if they destroy the individual health insurance market and they don’t care if they hurt millions of early-retirees and self-employed Americans.