Study: State-Based Individual Health Insurance Mandate Would Lower Premiums In Ky.

Jul 25, 2018

Credit Natalia Merzlyakova / 123rf Stock photo

A new study says having a state-based individual health insurance mandate in place next year would greatly benefit Kentucky.

Congress eliminated the individual health insurance mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act, effective in 2019.

The study, by left-leaning agencies Urban Institute and Commonwealth Fund, estimates having a state-based mandate would mean premiums paid by Kentuckians next year would be 17 percent cheaper compared to what those costs would be without a mandate in place.

“Let’s say we put the mandate back in place that’s been eliminated at the federal level. So then individuals who might have left and said they were buying coverage simply because they were avoiding the penalty, but they are reasonably healthy people, will tend to stay and premiums get lower," said Linda Blumberg of the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute and study author.

The study says the ending of the individual mandate will lead to an explosion of uncompensated health care costs for state governments, hospitals, and community health centers.

“Uncompensated care in the state—the demand for care from people who do not have insurance coverage—would decrease by about $171 million in 2019” in Kentucky, if the state were to adopt an individual mandate, according to Blumberg.

Kentucky saw the second-highest gain in insurance coverage following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the state’s expansion of its Medicaid program.

© 2018 WKU Public Radio