Indian River County- Health Care

Florida is the home to many elderly Americans, with about 20 percent of its population 65 and older. It is also the state with the nation’s highest enrollment in the Affordable Care Act plans at 1.7 million sign-ups for 2018.

The Trump administration and Congress tried and failed multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  They did, however, successfully repeal the law’s individual mandate as part of the tax reform bill. Administratively, the Trump administrationdramatically cut funding for advertising and enrollment assistance and halted some subsidy funding, which caused insurers great uncertainty in determining where to offer plans for 2018, and for how much.

All of these changes caused predictions of dramatic decreases in enrollment in ACA plans. However, that has not happened.  Nearly 9 million people selected marketplace plans in the 39 states using HealthCare.gov during open enrollment. About 1.7 million Floridians enrolled, more than any other statefor the second year in a row. In spite of this year’s limited six-week enrollment period that was half the length of previous years, Florida still enrolled as many residents as last year.  A major reason enrollment didn’t drop dramatically: many customers could still find cheap plans.

After the Trump administration stopped making some subsidy payments, insurance companies in most states raised prices on certain plans to compensate. As a result, subsidized customers were able to find more deals than ever. Four out of five customers on HealthCare.gov were eligible for plans costing $75 or less per month and many were eligible for plans with no premium charges.

A recent study (April 2018) shows that subsidized marketplace customers are paying less out of pocket than ever.  More than four in five enrollees received premium subsidies to help pay for coverage, on par with previous years. Among subsidized enrollees in the 39 states using HealthCare.gov, their average cost was $89 per month, down from over $100 in each of the past three years.  However, for the 17 percent of HealthCare.gov customers without financial help, premiums were $522 per month, on average.

So, in spite of the shortened enrollment period, regulatory changes and legislative threats, predictions about 2018 marketplace failures did not happen. Though President Trump boasts that he has “essentially repealed Obamacare,” every county has at least one company selling plans, and millions of new and returning customers again purchased insurance that covers the ACA’s essential health benefits.

That is good news for America.  This is good news for Florida.

The Democrats of Indian River believe in universal healthcare as a right for all citizens.

Join us.  Be part of the solution.