Jul 31, 2018

The shrinking of the individual insurance market

Photo: Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

People who don’t receive the ACA’s premium subsidies are fleeing the individual insurance market, leaving it smaller and more concentrated, according to the latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The big picture, from Kaiser: "The availability of premium subsidies … is likely sufficient to keep the individual insurance market financially sustainable ... However, based on the current trajectory, the market is likely to be increasingly dominated by lower-income people and those with pre-existing conditions."

By the numbers: Total enrollment in the individual market fell by about 12%, or 2 million people, from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018.

  • All of that decline came from people who are either outside the ACA’s exchanges or who used the exchanges but aren’t eligible for subsidies.
  • Subsidized enrollment grew by about 500,000 people.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise. As premiums have risen — in large part because of the actions of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans — the burden has mostly fallen on unsubsidized people who have to pay the whole cost on their own.

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Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in the context of renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina if capacity reduced

President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump threatened in a series of Monday tweets to move this summer's Republican National Convention from Charlotte if North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, doesn't allow the event to be held at full capacity.

The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.