One Weird Trick That Can Save Obamacare


Believe it or not, this headline isn’t clickbait. Sarah Kliff reports that Nevada has figured it out:

Nevada made one policy decision that made selling marketplace coverage way more financially appealing (kudos to Louise Norris at HealthInsurance.org for reporting this first): It gave insurers that wanted to manage the state’s Medicaid program an incentive to sell on the marketplaces too.

….Medicaid is a way bigger program than the Obamacare marketplaces….Nevada knew these were contracts insurers would want. So it told the health plans that Medicaid applications would get preferential treatment if the insurance plan committed to selling marketplace coverage in 2018.

And that is exactly what the Medicaid health plans did. Two insurance plans, Silver Summit and Aetna, bid for and won new Medicaid contracts. As a result, both are expected to join the marketplace next year.

This is, admittedly, not a long-term solution. Eventually the Obamacare exchanges will have to become profitable on their own. But as a short-term way of riding out the next couple of years while Trump and Congress do their best to screw everything up, it should work a treat.