This uncertainty could hurt rural areas particularly hard, since many already have only one insurer offering subsidized plans, and some have none. "Uncertainty about the future of the subsidies has led some insurers to pull out of the exchanges, saying it’s impossible for them to forecast costs. Others have threatened to drastically hike premiums in order to make up for the lost federal funds," Alex Seitz-Wald reports for NBC News. "Time is of the essence, since many insurers have already begun the months-long process of calculating their estimated premiums for next year, which have to be submitted to regulators for approval well before they hit the market."
|Bloomberg News map shows number of Obamacare insurers in each county.|
Some states are feeling the pinch. "Just last month, Anthem announced plans to drop out of Ohio’s Obamacare marketplace, a move that would leave more than 10,000 people in 18 counties without access to a federally subsidized insurance plan. Anthem said the 'individual market remains volatile,' saying one reason was 'the lack of certainty' about whether the cost-sharing payments would continue," Jack Torry and Jessica Wehrman report for the Dispatch.
After the Senate's original bill failed, a bipartisan group of 11 governors asked Congress to "fix our unstable insurance markets," reports Seitz-Wald. The governors, along with some insurers, want to secure the federal subsidies and leave the long-term issues for another day.