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Number of uninsured people expected to rise in 2018 due to cost

Posted at 11:36 PM, Nov 03, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – The number of people in the U.S. choosing to go without health insurance, mainly due to rising costs, is expect to rise in 2018.

A recent Gallup poll finds that 12.3 percent of adults in the United States lack health insurance as of Sept. 30, which is more than a full percentage point increase from the same time last year. 

In Indiana: 

  • 174,611 people in Indiana enrolled in a plan on the Marketplace for 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation 
  • 419,989 people in Indiana are participating in the HIP “Healthy Indiana Plan,” as of September. 
  • 102,842 children are participating in the CHIP “Children’s Health Insurance Program” as of September. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services doesn’t plan on releasing a projection of how many people will drop out of the Marketplace, either nationally or in Indiana. A spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Insurance says the state agency does not track that information. 

“The first day of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange went smoothly. The website performed optimally and consumers easily accessed enrollment tools to compare plans and prices,” said a CMS spokesperson.

Support is growing for a bipartisan health care bill in the Senate, known as the Alexander-Murray bill. 

The bill appropriates money for cost-sharing reductions through 2019. The payments to insurers would help to offset the cost of premiums and it also gives states more flexibility to establish high risk pools, insurance stability funds and other programs.

The Alexander-Murray bill has not been brought for a vote yet, and President Trump has not made a clear statement on whether he’ll support it. 

Trump tweeted this on the first day of open enrollment on Wednesday: “Wouldn’t it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts for the Middle Class. The House and Senate should consider ASAP as the process of final approval moves along.” 

A recent score from the Congressional Budget Office finds the compromise bill would cut the federal deficit by $3.8 billion over 10 years. The CBO also finds the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage.  

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