Thursday, October 05, 2017

After Sept. 30 deadline, here's what the 2018 ACA marketplaces look like

Sept. 30 was a critical deadline for many of the moving parts in the nation's health insurance system. We've covered in another piece what's going on with the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired on that date without reauthorization. But beyond that, the Senate had to muster the votes to repeal the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act if it wanted to accomplish it with a simple majority vote; and insurers had to file plans for their 2018 plans by that date.

The Graham-Cassidy bill failed to pass, but a new budget resolution suggests that Republicans may still try to repeal key portions of the ACA in the coming years.

Because insurers didn't know what the health insurance laws would be in 2018, and because President Trump threatened to withhold subsidies to help pay for low-income plans, insurers played musical chairs all summer: withdrawing from some marketplaces and filling others. At several points, rural areas in different parts of the country were left without an insurer to provide individual marketplace plans.

Now that the dust is clearing, we can see what the 2018 ACA marketplaces will look like. Bloomberg has been an invaluable source throughout the summer, with a continuously updated blog with news of insurers' moves and county-level maps of coverage. The most important thing to note is that all counties will be covered by an insurer, and most counties will have multiple insurers to choose from.

Click here for an animated map showing how marketplace coverage changed over the summer. And below is the final county-level map of insurance coverage for 2018:
Bloomberg map

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