Analysis: Senate's Latest Health Blueprint Cuts Costs At The Expense Of Chronically Ill

Kaiser Health News, July 17, 2017

“It seems to me it’s not nearly enough” to keep plans affordable for those with chronic illness, said Timothy Jost, emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University and an expert on health reform.

Risk Pools

This article first appeared July 17, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.

By Jay Hancock

The latest Senate health proposal reins in costs by effectively splitting the individual insurance market, with healthy people diverted into stripped-down plans and chronically ill individuals left with pricey and potentially out-of-reach options, insurance analysts said.

This draft — a fresh attempt by the Republican Party to undo the Affordable Care Act — injects more uncertainty into plans for people with preexisting conditions such as cancer, asthma, diabetes or other long-term ailments. Those people, insured through ACA marketplaces now, could be more isolated than in an earlier version of the Senate bill.

For such patients, “I would be pretty nervous,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “You will have separate pools — one that only healthy people can get into and one for you. That pool is liable to get increasingly expensive — in fact, very expensive over time.”

Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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