Health insurance companies say the federal government’s Affordable Care Act is not a “death spiral” and are worried about the impact on their bottom lines.
The American Hospital Association said on Thursday it would stop advertising its insurance products to people who signed up for Obamacare, but it will not cut back on medical visits and it is encouraging more people to sign up.
“We are concerned about the uncertainty around the implementation of the ACA and its implementation in a way that can affect health insurance markets in the U.K., Canada and other markets,” AMA Chief Medical Officer Mark Adelman said.
“The ACA’s benefits to patients and providers have already been demonstrated, but we are concerned that as a result of implementation uncertainty, some patients and other providers may feel they are not able to access the services they need.”
He said the AMA and other health insurers will continue to make calls to their members to inform them about the rollout.
He said he expected the number of people signing up for health insurance plans under the law to drop from the record low of 4.5 million last year.
Adelman said insurers are working hard to find ways to make sure they are able to cover everyone.
“We are continuing to do outreach to our members to ensure they have the information they need,” he said.
But he said many people will not get the help they need.
The AMA said the number one concern it had about the law is the costs for insurance plans.
“At the end of the day, there are going to be people who will not pay for health coverage.
We are doing everything we can to make that happen.
But, at the end, the burden will be on the insured,” Adelman told reporters.
“I think the cost of coverage will be a greater percentage of a premium than it was under the ACA.”
The AMA has urged the government to give people more choices in insurance plans, such as people who buy plans through state-run exchanges, and to offer subsidies to help people buy plans.
Adelman, however, said that would be difficult given that many people would choose not to buy insurance plans if the federal tax credits were removed.
“So, you would have to do a whole lot more to get people to pay more,” he told reporters in Washington, D.C. “But I think there is a path to a better solution.”
Adelman also said insurers were working to help patients and their families get coverage through the federal marketplace.
“What we are encouraging our members is to go into the marketplace,” he added.
“They are going into the exchanges and getting the coverage they need, the coverage that they need and the coverage in which they want to live.”
Adler also said the new federal health insurance law would allow people to buy private insurance plans that would cover more of their medical expenses.
He added that he did not expect the government would start requiring that people buy private health insurance for a lot of people.
“It would be nice to get it to a point where we can actually have the ability to do that, but I don’t see that happening,” he warned.
The Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday it would start rolling out health insurance subsidies for millions of people starting next month.
It will give people up to $2,000 per family in subsidies for plans through the exchange.
The White House said it was working on an extension to its $8 billion health insurance plan.
The White House also said it would give people $2 per child under age 6 free in the first year of the law, and $4.50 per child in the second year.
The health insurance exchanges, which are designed to give consumers more choices about plans, are the last major steps in the healthcare overhaul.
They will open in 2020.