by Ken Doyle
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, there were marked gains in the number of Americans with health insurance coverage. But those gains are starting to reverse with 4 million people losing coverage since 2016, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund. The uninsured rate among working-age people is 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2016. Uninsured rates were up significantly among adults with lower incomes and those in 19 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs.
Researchers say that these factors have likely played a part in increasing the uninsured rate:
- A lack of federal legislative actions to improve ACA weaknesses.
- Actions by the current administration that have exacerbated ACA weaknesses.
- The administration’s deep cuts in advertising and outreach during the marketplace open-enrollment periods, a shorter open enrollment period and other actions that may have left people confused about the status of the law.
Signs point to further erosion of insurance coverage in 2019 due to repealing the individual mandate penalty, increasing the availability of insurance policies that don’t meet ACA minimum benefit standards and supporting Medicaid work requirements. Five percent of insured adults plan to drop insurance because of the individual mandate repeal.
In the absence of bipartisan support for federal action, legislative activity has shifted to the states. Eight states have received, or are applying for federal approval to establish reinsurance programs. Others may establish their own individual mandate, provide additional subsidies for people in marketplace plans or allow residents to buy into Medicaid. Also, Medicaid expansion may be on the ballot in as many as four states this fall. Leaving policy innovation to states will lead to a patchwork quilt of health care across the country. At some point, Congress is likely to face pressure to step in and level the playing field, according to the report.
As the Senior Vice President of Sales at LISI, Ken Doyle oversees statewide sales. He has over three decades of experience in sales and marketing. Ken began his career in the early 1980s at Blue Cross of California in Operations. He was regional Sales Manager for 12 years as well as manager of Broker Services. Additionally, he assumed other leadership roles during his tenure there. In 1996, Ken transitioned to corporate WellPoint Health Networks where he was responsible for brand management, event marketing and marketing programs nationwide. In 2004, he transitioned into the general agency segment. In 2011, he joined LISI. He is past President of LAAHU and past Region VIII NAHU Membership Chair. He has also been a Chairman of the Board for the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce and Foundation, as well as a member of Westlake Rotary. Ken and his wife Christal reside in Thousand Oaks, California.