The real looming threat is the loss of health plans participating in the IFP market. In 2017 three carriers dominated the market with 72% of the enrollments: Anthem Blue Cross 19%, Blue Shield 25%, Kaiser 28%. With the loss of Blue Cross in the major metropolitan markets such as the Bay Area and Southern California, two carriers, Blue Shield and Kaiser, are likely to command over 60% of the market place in 2018. If one of those two carriers determines that offering IFP plans is just too risky in 2018, it could lead to other carriers such as Health Net, Molina, or Oscar also pulling out of the market.
As the ACA open enrollment winds down, attention now turns to helping individuals and families in the new health plans actually get health care from their insurance. While there have been significant challenges just getting people signed up for health insurance, there will surely be additional hurdles as households now try to use the new health plans. For most people, they have no advocate to help them maneuver through the maze set up by health care professionals and insurance plans. Who will be the health insurance advocates for these families?
Health insurance plan premiums will be based on your age, location and the type of plan you choose. Insurance companies will not be able to increase your rates because of pre-existing conditions or gender.
The U.S. does a decent job of helping a variety of different groups of people get access and affordable healthcare through either insurance or direct aid. Folks in the middle are at the mercy of the market place.