This year took insurers and their policyholders in a new direction that will define future movements.
Every year reveals different insurance industry trends and as we look back on 2018, it has become clear that it was also defined by a specific direction.
Last year was seen as a time in which regulations were changing broadly but 2018 was different.
In 2018, the insurance industry trends in the United States showed an inclination toward forming new alliances and remaining flexible in an evolving marketplace, according to a recent Modern Healthcare report.
This year, health insurance companies and other stakeholders within the industry have moved toward obtaining the answers that remained a mystery throughout 2017. The Trump administration provided parcels of additional tools to insurers and to states. Those tools were designed to assist health insurance companies and states with what they need to skirt the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, as opposed to needing a full health care law reform.
As competition increases, insurance companies have sought new alliances to ease costs.
Health insurance companies have entered into a range of new deals and partnerships to obscure the line between providers and payers.
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At the same time, December brought new potential threats to the Affordable Care Act as a federal judge in Texas declared Obamacare unconstitutional midway through the month. Though many have doubted that this decision will have any real impact on the health care law, it did manage to shake the feeling of stability of the ACA. Once again, the health care reform has been thrown into doubt, this time as health insurance companies were simultaneously attempting to encourage plan members to renew their coverage for next year.
In 2018, the Trump administration changed the nature of Obamacare, eliminating some of its core components. Most notably, they removed the individual mandate which required most Americans to purchase coverage or be required to pay a tax penalty. States were also given additional power to govern their own health insurance markets as they saw fit.
This produced a range of new insurance industry trends, depending on the states. While many of the Democratic majority states moved swiftly to reduce the impact of Trump’s changes to the ACA, other states, mainly those with Republican leanings, sought to further weaken Obamacare. The outcome appears to be a reversal of the several-year trend of increasing coverage and affordability of health insurance across the country.
From everyone on the team at Live Insurance News, we wish you a safe, healthy and happy New Year!