Insurers just stepped in to avoid an Obamacare disaster

By Carolyn Y. Johnson

Protesters carry signs during a health care rally in front of Trump Tower in New York. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP)

As President Trump urges politicians to “let Obamacare implode,” suggesting that the law will unravel on its own and leave people across the country with no health-insurance options, states are finding their own ways to fill in the gaps in coverage for next year.

3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017

Ohio’s insurance director announced Monday that by working together with five companies, all but one of its counties would have insurance options next year on the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. Twenty Ohio counties had been at risk of being bare in 2018, with no insurers selling plans on the exchanges where people can buy health coverage with the aid of federal subsidies. That void was created in June when the major insurer, Anthem, announced that it would pull out of the state.

“Ohio has long had a strong insurance system, and once again our insurers stepped up at an important time for thousands of Ohioans, taking unprecedented action to provide access to health insurance for Ohioans who otherwise were without options,” insurance director Jillian Froment said in a statement.

[It’s not impossible: Four ways Republicans could still take action on Obamacare]

A single Ohio county, Paulding County, still has no insurer expected to offer plans on the exchange. Froment said that regulators are searching for coverage options for that county.

State insurance commissioners have been working with companies to plug potential gaps over the past few months. After quite a bit of suspense over whether Iowa …read more