Insurance group raises alarms about looming ObamaCare case

Insurance group raises alarms about looming ObamaCare case
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The Obama administration should allow insurance companies to raise their rates, if the Supreme Court decides to gut a central piece of the Affordable Care Act this summer, a national insurance group said Wednesday.

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In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Actuaries warns that the challenge before the high court threatens the financial health of insurance companies.

If the administration loses in the case, King v. Burwell, a majority of states would no longer be allowed to hand out health insurance subsidies. That decision is expected to have a massive effect, as nearly 90 percent of people nationally currently receive subsidies to help them afford coverage.

The White House announced Tuesday that it has “no plans” to immediately restore the subsidies if it loses the case — a move that raised the stakes for the Supreme Court but rankled the insurance group.

The group’s health experts warn that, if the subsidies are not restored, national enrollment would likely plummet. Those remaining in the market would likely be far sicker, and therefore more expensive, driving up "average health costs for health plans” overall.

Under ObamaCare, insurance companies must propose rate increase one year before they are in place. But the actuary group said companies should be given more time to consider rate hikes after the court’s decision, which will likely come in late June.