President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law. White House photo

With the Supreme Court a month away from ruling whether Obamacare can continue in 37 states, the mathematicians who calculate insurance plans warn that a negative ruling could cause rates to spike nationwide.

The 18,500-member American Academy of Actuaries released a report Thursday that a Supreme Court decision prohibiting premium subsidies in states with federally facilitated marketplaces would “threaten the viability of the health insurance marketplace.”

The actuaries’ report said there is the potential for “higher numbers of uninsured, higher premiums, and insurer insolvencies” if a key portion of the Affordable Care Act is struck down and Congress does not make adjustments.

“Eliminating subsidies in (the 37) states would have enormous consequences for insurance enrollment, premiums, and the viability of health insurance markets,” said Catherine Murphy-Barron, vice president of the academy’s Health Practice Council. “Policymakers should understand the implications of any policy proposal intending to address the disruption caused by the potential loss of subsidies. Of central concern, a viable health insurance system must attract a broad cross section of risks and operate as a level playing field.”

The King v. Burwell case before the Supreme Court concerns states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges, like California’s Covered California, and instead used the federal exchange.

Since California established its own exchange, those insured through Covered California would not be impacted, according to officials with the health exchange.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.