4) The Supreme Court could repeal the individual mandate, but nothing else. This appears to be the most likely outcome based on oral arguments.
The individual/family and small group employer markets are in great jeopardy if the mandate is overturned, but the provisions for community rating and guaranteed issued policies remain untouched. By allowing people to enroll in a policy when they become sick AND allowing them to pay a premium which is the same as everyone else, would result in disaster. Unless everyone in America is forced to buy a policy, the health insurance carriers would be decimated and they would be forced to drastically increase premiums for employer group health insurance.
If this happens, the individual /family and small group health insurance markets outside of the newly created exchanges will disappear. I will also disappear and go back to my previous career as a professional currency and commodities trader (to be honest, I’m already there for the most part). You can forget about finding competent agents to guide you through the newly created exchanges. The exchanges will have paid “navigators”, but if past history is any indication, the compensation for such a designation will be peanuts and you’ll have very few people willing to take on such a task for so little pay. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world. My guess is that this would be similar to dealing with the IRS. On hold forever, one word answers and no real help or guidance to speak of….
The very same thing happened with the “child-only” market two years ago due to the guaranteed issue requirement. If you have kids, right now, you can only place them on Medicaid (if you can qualify), buy a temporary plan (which has no preventive care, no pre-ex coverage and only lasts for a few months), place them on your employer plan at a huge premium or put them in your State Risk Pool or the PCI Plan.
We do have one option in Texas, but the insurance carrier will not pay agents a commission to offer it, therefore, I’m not telling you what it is (unless I really like you or you’re an existing client). Most of these options are unaffordable or provide inadequate coverage. If you’re court ordered to provide coverage for your kids, you’ll find it difficult to comply with the law as there are hardly any affordable options (as there used to be). Thanks Obama! Way to go! What a well thought out plan!
One thing is for sure, this is a huge mess and each outcome will change the landscape of an entire industry resulting in staggering business losses and job losses across the nation.