Now that the tax bill has passed with the individual mandate repealed, the states are scrambling to shore up insurance markets that are falling apart. Idaho is now choosing to revert to the previous system before Obamacare was passed. Idaho has taken the first state level move to completely sidestep and do away with the incredibly expensive, collapsing federal healthcare behemoth for some plans.
Insurance companies, however, have been warning that if the federal government does not force younger and healthier individuals into the Obamacare markets, they will collapse. These individuals are no longer forced to purchase these plans and are expected to go without insurance to avoid paying the exorbitant expenses on the Obamacare plans approved for the individual markets.
Unfortunately, as Congress has not repealed Obamacare, this type of change is legally dubious.
Expect Idaho to be swiftly taken to court by the defenders of the bill. In addition, under the Supremacy clause in the Constitution, this attempt by Idaho to make medical insurance cheaper will most likely fail in court.
Concerned about soaring health care costs, Idaho on Wednesday revealed a plan that will allow insurance companies to sell cheap policies that ditch key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
It’s believed to be the first state to take formal steps without prior federal approval for creating policies that do not comply with the Obama-era health care law. Health care experts say the move is legally dubious, a concern supported by internal records obtained by The Associated Press.
Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron said the move is necessary to make cheaper plans available to more people. Otherwise, he said he fears the state’s individual health insurance marketplace will eventually collapse as healthy residents choose to go uninsured rather than pay for expensive plans that comply with the federal law.
“There are other states that have been talking about it, but we may be out in front,” Cameron said. “They may look to follow us should be we successful.”
Many states have seen annual double-digit increases in health insurance premium costs. That is expected to continue — and perhaps get worse — under the recently signed Republican tax plan.
The new tax law ended the Affordable Care Act provision that required people to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Without the threat of a penalty, health care experts predict that younger and healthier people will go without policies. That will leave sicker patients in the marketplaces, forcing insurers to raise costs.