As we have reported on, the health insurance system in this country is a mess, and it is much worse for anyone who buys their insurance on the various private exchanges. While of course it is very early to predict how things may look for 2019, the first glimpse of the upcoming year is not a good one according to many experts.
Various studies, including from the Urban Institute as well as the state of New York, predict that as many as 6.5 million more Americans will be uninsured in 2019. This will bring the percent of the population with health insurance to about 12.5%, which will be a 20% year over year increase. Many of them may need financial help for their medical bills if they lose their medical (or even dental) insurance.
Now the reasons for the increase of 6.5 million will vary. Experts say it will be a combination of the following. For most that lose their insurance, it will often be for more than one of these reasons below.
(1) plans becoming unaffordable.
(2) the lack of a mandate will cause Americans (generally younger ones) to take a chance they will not get sick and they will therefore not buy health insurance in order to save money.
(3) more people opting for short term plans that only offer coverage for 3-11 months.
(4) lack of awareness of the Affordable Care Act, which may cause Americans to miss the application deadlines, especially very low income ones, seniors, or immigrants.
(5) reductions in financial assistance from the government.
Those would the main factors leading to the projected 2019 increase in uninsured Americans. But there will be other reasons why some Americans decide to forego coverage. The bottom line is that the Urban Institute as well as groups such as Managed Markets Network say things are not looking good for 2019.
Partly due to the projection of so many people dropping their coverage in 2019, including younger, healthier Americans, as well as the availability of short term plans, the result of that would be a huge spike in the monthly cost. The Urban Institute predicts monthly premiums will go up 15%+ in 2019. Some plans may have a 20%+ increase. Now that would be a huge jump for the private marketplace.
Now really anything could happen between now and then. Heck the world could end! But do keep in mind that most health insurance companies start to set their rates in the fall, so when we say 2019 that does not mean January 1, 2019, or ~10 months from now. It is more like 6-7 months from now, as that is when state regulators work with the insurance companies, such as United Health Care, on the 2019 rates.
As we always say, anyone who is concerned about their medical or dental insurance, the cost of it, what plans may be offered, etc. should on occasion check up on the latest news stories. We will follow them here, at needhelppayingbills. As if the cost does go up, and you think you may struggle to afford your monthly bills, the earlier you plan and budget the better.
We also know we have many people on our site seeking help for their medical bills, prescription drugs, and other health care needs. After all, medical bills are still the leading cause of bankruptcy per Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Therefore, there is always a strong interest in the health care marketplace, which is another reason to keep up on the latest headlines.