"It's been another boring year in the insurance business," Huckle said in a meeting with the Herald editorial board. "Just when we got used to trying to figure out Obamacare and how to get it fully implemented, it could possibly change on us and we'd have to reimplement it."
Huckle said BCBS already has the necessary regulatory approvals for its 2017 insurance products and is selling them as it usually would. Any changes to ACA, he speculated, could be "incremental" and begin in 2018.
Huckle said he wasn't going to make any solid predictions, but said there "seems to be consensus" there are areas where ACA can be improved. He cited one area as preventing buyers from purchasing insurance only when they need health care, then dropping coverage later.
Beyond any future abolition of the health care act, Huckle said BCBS has been having a financially solid year.
The ACA health insurance exchange got off to a hectic start four years ago but has "evolved well," Huckle said. Over time, he said, open enrollment has taken an "orderly and quiet" tone as
The current open enrollment period began
Still, Huckle said ACA has had nearly 200 rule changes over the course of its existence. Additionally, he said federal agencies have released "thousands" of answers to frequently asked questions aimed at parsing out the ACA framework.
"It has been policy and rule-intense," Huckle said, adding he'd like to see it run more freely in the future.
Huckle described the campaign rhetoric on ACA as providing "cause for pause," but said insurers still don't know what's coming their way. He estimated the picture might become more clear by the middle of next year.
(c)2016 the Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.)
Visit the Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.) at www.grandforksherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.