(Zero Hedge) If Obamacare enrollments continue their current trend and insurers continue to hike premiums at alarming rates then Republicans may not have to worry about “repealing and replacing Obamacare” as it might just work itself out “naturally”. The 4th open enrollment period for Obamacare begins on November 1, 2016 and industry experts are warning that another year of tepid demand from “young and healthy” Americans could force more insurers out of the exchanges effectively marking the end of Obamacare as we know it. According to a story published by The Hill, 11 million people bought health insurance through the exchanges for 2016 which was drastically below the Congressional Budget Office’s initial projection of 21 million.
Well we’re shocked! Turns out that whole “adverse selection bias” was a real thing. So you’re telling us that young, healthy people don’t want to pay for insurance they know they’ll never use? We guess America’s youth can actually do basic math, after all. Apparently they were able to figure out they would rather take the lower tax associated with Obamacare penalties than the larger tax associated with buying a healthcare policy they’ll never use. We guess Millennials are a little less enthusiastic about embracing socialism when the costs are coming out of their pockets.
With America’s youth continuing to shun health insurance, insurers are all racking up massive losses on the exchanges. For many insurers the losses will simply result in massive premium hikes but others have decided to withdraw from the exchanges all together. In fact, UnitedHealthCare recently announced plans to exit most state exchanges by 2017 (see our post entitled “Largest US Health Insurer Exits California, Illinois Obamacare Markets“) Per The Hill:
In the last month, two major insurers – Aetna and Anthem – both reversed course …