The administration has just begun to issue guidance (proposed rules) to the insurance industry on Obamacare’s most important (and expensive) insurance market “reforms.” Insurance plans must have clarity on these issues if they are to develop and price plans for the individual and small group markets both inside and outside of the exchanges.
Right now, insurance companies don’t have answers to some of the most critical questions. Dozens of other smaller, but still important rules are also outstanding from HHS that will affect what kinds of plans are available on the exchanges, and how much they will cost insurers and taxpayers.
Some of the recently issued rules, particularly on community rating (charging the same price to everyone regardless of health status) and limiting the premium difference between older and younger applicants are likely to increase prices for young people – and over half (55%) of the uninsured are under age 35.
If prices rise sharply for this group, they’re much less likely to buy coverage, since Obamacare lets them buy insurance for the same price even after they become sick.