ACA

Ensuring that people with pre-existing health conditions can get and keep health insurance is the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act. It has also become a flashpoint in this fall's midterm campaigns across the country.

And not only is the ACA protection, which mostly applies to people who buy their own coverage, at risk. It's also possible that pre-existing condition protections that predate the federal health law could be in play.

Consumers who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act markets may be pleasantly surprised this fall as average premiums are forecast to rise much less than in recent years.

The price of a 2019 policy sold on the ACA exchanges will increase less than 4 percent, according to an analysis of preliminary filings from insurers in all 50 states by ACASignups.net, a website and blog run by analyst Charles Gaba that tracks ACA enrollment and insurer participation.

And those insurers are expanding their offerings.

For people who make too much money to qualify for health insurance subsidies on the individual market, there may be no Goldilocks moment when shopping for a plan. No choice is just right.

A policy with an affordable premium may come with a deductible that's too high. If the copayments for physician visits are reasonable, the plan may not include their preferred doctors.

These consumers need better options, and in early August federal officials offered a strategy to help bring down costs for them.

Affordable Care Act Revisit

Aug 7, 2018
Chuck Kennedy / Official White House Archives

Columbus is one of four cities suing the Trump Administration for its plans to undermine the Affordable care Act.

The suit is based on the "take care" clause in the U.S. Constitution that details the President's responsibility to, "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

Critics say the Trump Administation has undercut the ACA by removing funding for naivgators who assist civilians in choosing their health plans, getting rid of the individual mandate, and suspending the risk adjustment program designed to help smooth out bumps for insurance companies.

President Trump has consistently declared that the Affordable Care Act — commonly referred to as Obamacare — is a broken mess, and after several unsuccessful attempts to repeal the national health care law, he has eagerly anticipated that it will "fail" and "implode."

Pablo Martinez / Associated Press

The City of Columbus announced on Thursday it's filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for its treatment of the Affordable Care Act.

Ohio Republican Governor candidate Mike DeWine speaks while running mate Jon Husted looks on.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Gov. John Kasich insists that Ohio needs to fight to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions in the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 5 million Ohioans could be affected if that requirement were tossed out.

The Trump administration said Saturday that it is temporarily halting billions of dollars of payments designed to help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick.

Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the Ohio State of the State address in the Fritsche Theater at Otterbein University in Westerville, Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Gov. John Kasich says Ohio should be doing everything it can to defend the Affordable Care Act's requirement of health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. This once again positions Kasich against President Donald Trump, who has said his administration will not fight for the law.

Protestors rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA outside the offices of Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sept. 5, 2017, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo / AP

A new poll shows overall, nearly seven in 10 Ohio voters surveyed say they are very or somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in Ohio right now. They also weighed in on issues like tariffs on Chinese products and immigration.

Pexels

The federal government has rejected Ohio’s attempt to end the individual mandate for health care. The mandate is a staple of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Health care advocates say lawmakers should take this as a sign to work with Obamacare instead of against it.

Final 2018 open enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act are out this week, and 230,000 Ohioans have signed up, a decrease of about 4 percent from last year.

Ohio ranks 13th of 39 states in the number of new consumers and re-enrollments. The majority of sign-ups came from people between the ages of 55 and 64.

The Trump administration wants to allow insurance companies to offer more policies that have limited health benefits and that can reject customers if they have pre-existing medical conditions.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the plans, which don't meet the legal requirements for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, will allow consumers who can't afford insurance now to find cheaper plans.

The Department of Labor on Thursday released proposed new rules that proponents say will make it easier for businesses to band together in “associations” to buy health insurance.

Valeri Potapova / Shutterstock

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data this week on the number of people who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2018. The federal data shows numbers on 39 states that use HealthCare.gov, the federal health marketplace, to sign up for insurance.

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