Affordable Care Act insurance plans will be available in all counties across the United States in 2018 after an insurer announced it would provide coverage in the last remaining county in Ohio.
Approximately 350 people were on the ACA system, also called Obamacare, in 2017 in Ohio's Paulding County and will be able to purchase plans through CareSource for 2018, CNN Money reported.
Initial projections warned that up to 92,000 people could be living in 80 counties without ACA coverage in 2018. But several insurers have since stepped in to fill the gaps for 2018.
This does not mean the plans will be affordable for everyone. The Congressional Budget Office estimated Aug. 15 that if President Donald Trump repeals cost-sharing payments, which the government currently makes to assist with health plans for low income people, premiums for silver plans would increase by 20 percent in 2018.
Many insurers have delayed their decision on whether to offer plans until they receive confirmation about the Trump administration's approach to the cost-sharing payments.
"Unless Congress acts by September 27 -- when insurance companies must sign contracts with the federal government to sell insurance on the federal exchange in 2018 -- 9 million Americans in the individual market who receive no government help purchasing health insurance and whose premiums have already skyrocketed may see their premiums go up even more," Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee wrote in a statement on Aug. 21, according to Fox Business.
In California, monthly premiums are to rise by 12 percent.
Molina Healthcare has already announced it will request a 55 percent hike in its premiums for the plans it intends to sell in 2018, or 30 percent if the maintenance of cost-sharing payments is confirmed. PacificSource Plans has requested a 45.6 percent increase in rates.
Trump has continued to declare his intention to repeal the ACA, even though the Senate failed in July to pass a bill to do so.
The president blamed Republican Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for this in a tweet on Aug. 24.
"The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing repeal & replace for 7 years, he failed! That should never have happened!" Trump wrote on Twitter, according to The Hill.
Other Republicans acknowledge that the likelihood of repealing the ACA in 2017 is slim.
"We have a lot on our plate and it would've been better to deal with this [Obamacare] earlier," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told KFYO. "We are going to double track and solve tax reform, the debt ceiling, the defense authorization bill; all these bills have a deadline of September 31st, so we'll have to work hard and get all these done."
Sources: CNN Money (2), The Hill, Fox Business via Yahoo Finance / Featured Image: U.S. Census Bureau/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Shealah Craighead/The White House/Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons