Obamacare may be making your health insurance more expensive and harder to get, but at least it’s destabilizing the insurance industry.
Moody’s Investor Service has changed its outlook for the U.S. health care insurance sector from stable to negative, citing Obamacare’s rollout and the uncertainty it brings.
The private credit rating agency said potential fallout from the Affordable Care Act’s implementation — including changes to the individual market and the impact of the law’s “employer mandate” on commercial group plans in January 2015 — presents the greatest challenge to health insurers’ credit profile. Lower reimbursement rates among Medicare Advantage plans also are creating financial pressure, it said.
“While all of these issues had been on our radar screen as we approached 2014, a new development and a key factor for the change in outlook is the unstable and evolving regulatory environment under which the sector is operating,” Moody’s said. “Notably, new regulations and presidential announcements over the last several months with respect to the ACA have imposed operational changes well after product and pricing decisions had been finalized.”
Here in North Dakota, the state’s largest insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield, pulled out of the Medicaid expansion saying they were “unable to assume the financial risk.” They also turned down an opportunity, stemming from a pronouncement by President Obama it would be allowed, to continue selling previously canceled insurance policies saying it was “not in the best interests of our members to continue the non-grandfathered plans into 2014.”
So the idea that Obamacare is creating chaos in the insurance industry, to the detriment of the companies that operate there, is hardly surprising.
The question is, was this really unexpected by Obamacare’s designers or proponents? Or was the plan all along to undermine the private insurance industry in preparation for a push to nationalize the industry?
Either way, the fact is Americans are being hurt by this policy right now.