Older voters of course went heavily for Trump. And Trump voters – actually, right-wing voters in general – pretty obviously aren’t given to thinking things through.
Insurers would have more leeway to vary prices by age, so that premiums for the oldest customers could be 3.49 times as large as those for younger customers. Today, premiums for the old can be only three times as high as premiums for the young, which is what the Affordable Care Act stipulates. According to sources privy to HHS discussions with insurers, officials would argue that since 3.49 “rounds down” to three, the change would still comply with the statute.
Comments below fold.
From Mac Hall: Actually, “rounding” to maintain the 3:1 ratio would be better for seniors than Susan Brooks (R-IN) proposal which would raise it to 5:1. Yep, they already have a bill in discussion stage.
The idea of changing the ratio has been pushed by Norm Coleman’s American Action Network … yet it would cost seniors more in premiums than young people would save. And remember that under the current subsidy system, raising the premiums will also increase the subsidies … changing it to 5:1 would cost the taxpayers additional $9.3 billion a year in federal premium subsidies. Moreover, RAND estimates about 400,000 older adults who don’t qualify for subsidies would drop coverage.
Regarding the Trump proposal to round, would lead to an interesting question in Minnesota … where our law required a 3:1 ratio … someone would have to advise whether that is a hard number or is rounding acceptable. That leads to the problem for advocates like Jason Lewis who promote the idea of buying policies across state lines … will insurance companies want to come into Minnesota where we have more (and different) mandates than other states. Lewis is pushing the idea of repealing the Essential Benefits provisions in the ACA … which would return destablize what is in the standard policy.
From Mac Hall: Just checked the Minnesota ratio … and it is very specific … using three places after the decimal … at age 64 and over it is 3.000 versus age 63 which is 2.952 versus age 62 2.873 etc.
Trump would have problems in other states besides Minnesota — Utah maxes out at 3.000 starting at age 59 … New Jersey maxes out at 2.28 at age 59 … while Massachusetts maxes out at 2.365 at age 60.