NEW Report: Trump And Republicans’ Health Care Sabotage Driving Premium Increases
June 14, 2018
A new report by insurance experts says that Republicans’ individual mandate repeal and Trump’s decision to promote short-term insurance plans, with fewer benefits, are driving health care premium increases across the country.
The Hill: Insurance experts: ObamaCare mandate repeal driving premium increases
By Jesse Hellmann
Increases in health-care costs and policy changes are driving ObamaCare premium increases for the 2019 plan year, according to a new report released Wednesday.
The American Academy of Actuaries says that the elimination of the individual mandate penalty and the expansion of cheaper health plans with fewer benefits will contribute to premium increases next year.
“The individual market, which had shown signs of stabilizing, now faces a potential deterioration of the risk pool due to policy changes that reduce incentives for healthy individuals to enroll in [ObamaCare] marketplace plans. This deterioration and other factors could drive premiums higher for 2019,” said senior health fellow Cori Uccello.
Several insurers seeking rate increases for next year have cited the repeal of the mandate penalty as a primary reason for the request.
“Eliminating the penalty is expected to increase premiums as unsubsidized lower-cost healthy individuals will be more likely to forgo coverage,” the brief says.
The Trump administration is expected to roll out changes this summer that would expand access to short-term, limited-duration plans and association health plans.
These plans, which are typically cheaper but cover fewer benefits than ObamaCare plans, are meant to serve as an alternative for those who can't afford ObamaCare premiums, the administration argues.
But health-care experts say the wide availability of these plans could draw healthy people away from ObamaCare, leading to premium increases for those remaining.