Health Care

Insurer credits GOP tax law for new commitment to ObamaCare

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A health insurer in Alaska and Washington State is crediting the Republican tax law for its decision to participate in ObamaCare markets next year.

Premera Blue Cross said in a statement Monday that because of a one-time refund the company is getting under the GOP law, it will be able to make new commitments.

One commitment, the company said, is stepping in to offer coverage if any of Washington’s counties lack an insurer on the ObamaCare marketplace, a problem the state contended with last year.

The company also said it is pledging to “ensure continued stability” of the Alaska ObamaCare market, where it is the only insurer offering coverage.

Democrats, as well as many insurers, have criticized a separate provision of the tax law, the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate, as having a destabilizing effect on ObamaCare markets.

But Premera offered praise because of its refund.

“This refund has given us an unexpected opportunity to reach beyond our own company to further address the critical health care needs of the communities where we live and work,” CEO Jeff Roe said in a statement. “I am especially pleased to continue our commitment to the individual market and build stability for families in Washington and Alaska.”

The company announced a $250 million investment over five years, which also includes $40 million to improve services in areas such as addiction treatment and premium rebates for consumers.


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