Obamacare: What to expect after King v. Burwell?

In the wake of the King v. Burwell decision, many practices are wondering about the implications. Subsidies on the federal exchanges will continue, but what else?

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While many are excited about the recent victory for Obamacare, there are still many unknowns and potential obstacles moving forward under the Affordable Care Act.

One such potential issues is that of Medicaid expansion. If all states expand Medicaid programs to cover people with incomes at or just above the poverty line, 4 million more Americans would gain coverage. Almost half of the states have voice concerns and skepticism about the additional costs.

Another issue is that of the 18 million people who are eligible to buy insurance in the marketplaces and have not bought insurance. Statistically, marketplaces have had trouble enrolling Hispanics, young adults, and those opposed to being told they have to buy insurance.Many states are searching for money to sustain their marketplaces.

In 2016, risk corridors and reinsurance will disappear. These are two of the three methods that are in place to minimize insurer losses. Removal will likely result in a larger than normal increase in premiums. It could also push some insurers out of the market, reducing competition further.

Increasing concerns of affordability have also been voiced by many. In 2018, the federal government will begin taxing expensive health plans which may pressure employers to offer less health coverage or pass the cost on to employees.

While the King v. Burwell decision reinforced the legalities of the Affordable Care Act, there are still many unknowns moving forward.

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