On final day of open enrollment, consumers unsure of what to expect

Consumers anxious over health care future

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The future of Obamacare is very much in doubt, with both Congress and the Trump Administration promising to repeal it.

Insurance carriers and brokers scrambled on Tuesday to help customers sign up for coverage on the last day of open enrollment.

Broker Sue Ober is familiar with the plan offerings on the healthcare exchanges put in place for the individual market. She says premiums are up, coverage is down, which she says signals the need for change.

“Right now, what we’re doing is not working for anyone,” said Ober.

She also said many clients are nervous about a repeal that may cost them the subsidies they now depend on to defray the cost of premiums.

"People with chronic health conditions are concerned, people who get very high subsidies, they're not sure how they're going to pay for it,” said Ober.

For 2017, Obamacare premiums have risen by 14 percent to almost 30 percent on average. Still, a record number of Americans signed up for coverage on the Obamacare exchanges, 11.5 million.

Moda Health executives said they saw Obamacare as a way to extend coverage to more Oregonians. Moda jumped into the individual market in a big way, but found those new members very expensive to insure. 

"The cost of the care really drives what the premium is going to be, so we've seen this market with higher costs than we initially expected,” said Kraig Anderson, Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary.

But Anderson said he wants customers to know that they can depend on Moda to continue their coverage until Obamacare is replaced.

“With Trump being elected, people think the ACA has already been repealed, and that there’s not individual market” said Anderson. “We want to reassure our customers that nothing’s changed.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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