Healthcare continues while Trump plans his policy

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COLUMBIA - Healthcare has not changed since the election and experts say there is no need for people to think about changing healthcare plans until a new policy is initiated.

After the presidential election, Facebook lit up with Missourians enraged and worried about what to do with their healthcare due to President-Elect Donald Trump’s lack of clarity on what he wants the new policy to look like.

Although an official plan for Trump’s healthcare has yet to be laid out, MU Economics Professor George Chikhladze said there are a few key points. 

Chikhladze explained if Trump takes away the individual mandate, it could lead to a downward spiraling effect.

“It seems like a good idea but what will happen is that if we give that option to the taxpayers, so everyone in this country, then only very sick people in this country will buy insurance. Because given the premiums are very expensive, they only ones that will consider that ‘this is worth buying for me’ is if I expect some serious condition in the future,” Chikhladze said.

Chikhladze said healthy people in their 20s who are falling off their parents insurance don’t anticipate getting sick so they will end up not buying insurance. 

“So what’s gonna happen is, that’s gonna make the entire problem worse because now insurance companies will have to insure even more people with serious health conditions and they’re gonna have to raise the premiums even further. And this is what we call the death spiral anytime the market could actually disappear,” said Chikhladze.

If the market disappears, the premiums on healthcare will skyrocket making healthcare unaffordable for many Americans.

Chikhladze explained that when healthcare changes, historically the markets usually struggle for a few days and soon get back on track. But he said this healthcare change may be different due to such political division in the United States.

In mid-Missouri, those in need of healthcare have a way to find the best plan for them. The non-profit Primaris Foundation offers insurance counseling to anyone looking for the best healthcare fit. Primaris Foundation Insurance Counseling Program Manager Randy Rodgers.

Rodgers said, “Our goal every day is if people are interested in knowing more about their options for health care insurance that we explain the marketplace insurance plans to them and help match them up with the best option for them.”

Anyone seeking council on their healthcare plan can call to make an appointment or can call in on the hotline service and speak to a representative over the phone.

During this time of transition, Rodgers says he’s advising mid-Missouri residents to play the waiting game and stick with the insurance they currently have.

Rodgers said not to worry about Trump’s plan yet because "it’s reality that if an individual enrolls in health insurance now and they pay their premium, they have a contract with an insurer for 2017 to provide health insurance for them.” 

Rodgers explained that to the Primarias Foundation’s knowledge, all healthcare contracts will be upheld even if the policy changes in the first few months of 2017.