Every U.S. county to have Affordable Care Act option in 2018

By Ray Downs  |  Aug. 24, 2017 at 8:15 PM
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Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Every county in the United States will have at least one health insurance company offering plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year after CareSource announced Thursday it will service the last county in the country that did not have an option.

CareSource will provide ACA options for Paulding County, Ohio, the last "bare" county in the United States, in 2018. There recently have been up to 82 counties that did not have an ACA option, but state regulators worked with health insurers to fill in those gaps, Politico reported.

Having ACA options in every U.S. county is considered an important win for ACA advocates after President Donald Trump insisted on letting the healthcare legislation "implode" in order to facilitate a Republican-friendly replacement.

"Trump and Republicans in Congress have been rooting for healthcare to fail. With today's announcement, their talking points continued to evaporate," Protect Our Care Campaign Director Leslie Dach said in a statement, according to The Hill.

"It's official. The biggest threat to your healthcare is still sabotage from the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress," she added.

Although every U.S. county will have an ACA option in 2018, the uncertain political environment surrounding healthcare means there is no guarantee those counties will have an option the following year.

For example, Ohio previously had 20 counties without an ACA option. State officials have managed to get those counties on the ACA marketplace for 2018, but those deals apply for one year, reported the Columbus Dispatch.

"Beyond that, insurers are still looking for predictability in the health insurance market," said Ohio Insurance Director Jillian Fromen. "Now is the time for Congress to work on reforms that will strengthen our health insurance markets in ways that improve access and affordability."

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