What to do if there’s no health plan in your state next year

Personal Finance

States continue to grapple with the fate of their health insurance exchanges in 2018, even as the Senate released its version Thursday of the repeal to Obamacare.

As of June 20, some 31,268 insurance exchange enrollees in 44 counties, all based in Missouri, Ohio and Washington State, are at risk of having no insurers available to them next year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Individuals who require financial assistance to afford a policy would be hit especially hard by these changes, as they can only use their federal subsidies for coverage from the exchanges.

Large insurer Anthem also announced it would leave exchanges in Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana in 2018.

The Senate’s bill, called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”, would continue to reimburse health insurers for subsidies that lower out-of-pocket expenses for low-income customers.

“In 2018, the worst case scenario is that you’re not able to avail yourself of the subsidies and you can’t afford to buy coverage at all,” said Karen Pollitz, senior fellow, health reform and private insurance at Kaiser.

To provide exchange customers with some certainty for next year, state insurance regulators have gone back to the drawing board in a bid to keep insurers selling in these “bare counties.”

Here’s what you might see unfold in your state if your local marketplace is looking thin in 2018.

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