Will hospitals buy ACA insurance for their uncovered patients?

I had not thought of this angle before:

US hospitals are exploring ways to buy “Obamacare” insurance plans for their sickest and poorest patients as they strain under the weight of tens of billions of dollars in uncompensated costs from the uninsured.

But the move is opposed by the Obama administration and insurers, who fear it could add to the turmoil surrounding the new healthcare marketplace.

…Both the White House and insurers are concerned that if hospitals started paying for insurance for certain chronically ill patients, it will skew the insurance risk pool for the new healthcare exchanges, created under the Affordable Care Act. The exchanges need to attract at least 2.7m healthy and young people, out of 7m that were estimated to join the exchanges by March 2014, in order to keep monthly premiums low.

Ms Hatton said the prospect of buying health insurance for patients has become especially important in Republican-controlled states that have decided not to expand the federal insurance programme for the poor, known as Medicaid.

From the FT, here is more.


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