Oct 24 2016

New Obamacare Exchange Data Confirms Missourians Face Significantly Few Options, Higher Costs Next Year

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today released the following statement blasting Obamacare after the Obama administration released information showing that 84 percent of Missouri counties will have only one option of insurers on the exchange next year, a sharp decline from the 98 percent of counties that had three or more options this year. 

“Obamacare is a never-ending nightmare for Missouri families, and it’s only getting worse,” Blunt said. “Next year, the vast majority of Missouri families will have only one option of insurers on the exchange, despite the president’s promise that they could keep the plans and doctors they liked and could afford. The few plans that are available will come with steep premium increases, making it harder for Missourians to make ends meet.”

According to new data posted on healthcare.gov, 97 Missouri counties will have only one insurer participating in the Obamacare exchanges next year. Last year, every Missouri county had at least two insurance options. Additionally, most Missourians will see an increase in their premiums, with some facing an increase upward of 40 percent.

Blunt continued, “Instead of helping the families that are bearing the brunt of Obamacare’s higher costs and fewer options, the administration has reportedly offered insurance companies billions in a taxpayer-funded bailout to prop up the faltering exchanges. If that wasn’t enough, those who can’t afford any of the plans available to them could face a penalty of more than $2,000 next year. Missouri families shouldn’t be punished for a failed law that the president and Senate Democrats handed down on the American people without a single Republican vote. I opposed Obamacare from the beginning, I voted to repeal it, and I will continue fighting to protect families and advance real solutions that will expand access to quality, affordable health care.”

The data released today confirms Blunt’s warnings, laid out in a recent Springfield News-Leader op-ed, about the significantly fewer options and higher costs Missourians face on the exchanges next year.

In December of last year, Blunt voted to repeal the president’s health care law. President Obama vetoed that bill.

Blunt has also outlined several solutions that would lower costs and improve access for families, including:

  • Expanding access to Health Savings Accounts and allowing qualified participants to use HSAs to pay for premiums;
  • Allowing small businesses to pool together to offer affordable insurance options to employees;
  • Enacting meaningful medical liability reform to reduce malpractice insurance costs, leading to increased access for patients;
  • Allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines;
  • Expanding and reforming high-risk pools to provide insurance options for people with pre-existing conditions;
  • Promoting prevention and wellness programs by giving employers greater flexibility to reward employees who adopt healthier lifestyles;
  • Prohibiting insurers from cancelling a policy unless a person commits fraud or conceals material facts about a health condition;
  • Prohibiting insurance plans from instituting annual or lifetime spending limits; and
  • Implementing fair tax treatment for people who don’t receive their insurance at work.

*Updated on January 11, 2017