Obamacare May Make It 'Literally Impossible' in US Territories to Buy Insurance

Obamacare May Make It 'Literally Impossible' in US Territories to Buy Insurance

Obamacare was drafted so poorly that residents in America’s territories like the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam may literally be unable to purchase health insurance on the private market next year, even if they are healthy and want to voluntarily do so. 

Though Obamacare requires insurance companies in the territories to accept all applicants regardless of preexisting conditions, the law “does not mandate that all territorial residents buy plans nor does it provide subsidies to make coverage more affordable–as it does in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

The Washington Post simply noted that “this is, to put it mildly, a really bad way to run an insurance market. The whole idea of the subsidies and the mandate was to encourage enrollment among the healthier, younger people necessary to support an insurance market that also works for the sick.”

Since only sick people will enroll in the territories, premiums will skyrocket. Health analysts have said, “It’s like building a house with a roof but no walls.”

In the case of the Northern Mariana Islands, the individual insurance market is so messed up that insurance regulators believe it will be “literally impossible” for someone to buy a new insurance policy next year because the “one plan selling policies there told the territory’s top insurance commissioner it would not sell new plans for 2014.”

“In the 50 states and D.C., everybody is crying about the Affordable Care Act not working,” Sixto Igisomar, the regulator, told the Post. “You multiple those things exponentially for us.”

According to the Post, when Congress drafted the Affordable Care Act, it included “territories in some provisions but not others.” The individual mandate and insurance subsides are not extensions of the Public Health Act, which covers the territories, and are a part of Obamacare, a new law that applies to “each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.” As a result, “territories are also barred from using the federal health exchange but did have the opportunity to build their own marketplaces.”


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