Higher prices, fewer options lurk after health bill collapse

Soaring prices and fewer choices may greet customers when they return to the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces this fall because insurers still don’t know whether they will receive critical payments from the federal government.

Some congressional bills that aimed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act would have continued those payments, but that latest push fell apart early Friday morning in a narrow Senate vote.

Now insurers — and customers — are wondering what happens next. Without the subsidies, estimated at $7 billion a year, insurers would either charge much more for coverage, or decide not to offer coverage at all.

President Donald Trump has declined to guarantee payments, and has floated the idea of letting the law fail.

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