Health Care

Pennsylvania sounds the alarm about ObamaCare payments to insurers

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Pennsylvania could see double-digit rate increases next year if Congress and the Trump administration don’t fund key ObamaCare payments to insurers, a state official said Thursday. 

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said the state’s five insurers plan to stay in the market in and have filed aggregate rate increases of 8.8 percent for 2018. 

But those rates could jump 36 percent if Congress or the Trump administration disrupts the insurance markets. 

“These law percentages show that Pennsylvania’s market is stabilizing and insurers are better understanding the markets and the population they serve,” Miller said in a statement. 

{mosads}”I sincerely hope that Congress and the Trump administration do not take action that could negatively impact the progress we have made in Pennsylvania.” 

Miller said if Congress repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate — which requires everyone to either have insurance or pay a penalty — insurers could increase rates by 23.3 percent statewide. 

And if the Trump administration does not make ObamaCare’s payments to insurers, the companies would request a 20 percent rate increase statewide. 

If both happen, insurers estimated they would seek rate increases of 36 percent. 

“Information provided by insurers shows the extent to which instability and changes would impact Pennsylvania’s 2018 health insurance rates,” Miller said. 

“This proves what we already know — instability caused by adverse action from the federal government will do nothing but hurt consumers who are stuck in the middle,” said Miller. 

Insurers nationwide have threatened to hike premiums next year, or even pull out of the ObamaCare markets, if they don’t get the payments, known as cost sharing reductions. Those payments reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income customers. 

The Trump administration has said it made the May payments but has not made any decisions about future payments. 


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