Donald Trump declared war on hard-working families last week by ending payments that help keep health insurance premiums low for millions of Americans, which, in turn, has caused Pennsylvania’s insurance rates to rise by 30%.
“Donald Trump and Pennsylvania Republicans are responsible for sabotaging the health care system and raising costs for Pennsylvania families, gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and kicking seniors out of their nursing homes” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Brandon Cwalina. “It’s time for Congress to stand up to Donald Trump and protect health care for Pennsylvanians.”
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President Trump’s decision to end payments to insurers that help make health coverage affordable for millions of lower-income Americans under the Affordable Care Act blew up what would have been a year of relatively low rate increases in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance on Monday announced that it had approved average rate increases of 30.6 percent for individual plans to be sold next year both on and off the ACA health insurance exchange.
But acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said state regulators were trying to limit the impact on Pennsylvanians by maximizing the tax credits that reduce the premiums most consumers pay.
Earlier projections showed that rates would increase 7.6 percent, in a sign that the health-insurance market for ACA plans was settling in Pennsylvania. […]
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey called the dramatic rate increases “the direct result of President Trump’s sabotage of our health-care system.”
Pennlive: Wolf blames Trump, Congress for spiking health coverage cost
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is blaming President Donald Trump for a sharp increase in the cost of health insurance that’ll take effect next year for residents who buy individual plans.
Wolf’s administration released the approved 2018 rates Monday, saying the average increase will be just over 30 percent. The administration says the increase would’ve been less than 8 percent if Trump hadn’t halted cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers or created uncertainty around the fate of the individual mandate.
In a statement, Wolf accused Congress of being complicit in the rate increases because it didn’t appropriate the cost-sharing reduction payments that Trump is ending.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pa. insurance department says Obamacare rates to rise 30.6 percent
Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department had projected an average 7.6 percent rate hike for individual health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s government exchange in this state.
Acting Commissioner Jessica Altman said she was disappointed by the news. “It is with great regret that I must announce approved rates that are substantially higher than what companies initially requested,” Ms. Altman said in a prepared statement.
“This is not the situation that I hoped we would be in, but due to President Trump’s refusal to make cost-sharing reduction payments for 2018 and Congress’ inaction to appropriate funds, it is the reality that state regulators must face and the reason rate increases will be higher than they should be across the country.”
Bucks County Courier Times: ACA coverage will cost some people more next year; State officials say Trump administration, Congress to blame
In a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday said Congress is complicit in the rate increases.
“Let me be clear — we are in this situation because Congress chose not to appropriate these funds to begin with,” Wolf wrote. “The Obama administration had to take action on these payments to fulfill a contractual agreement with insurers around the country. Failing to do so would have jeopardized access to affordable, robust coverage — exactly the situation we find ourselves in now. The elimination of $9 billion in cost-sharing reduction payments will only increase the number of consumers underinsured and uninsured in Pennsylvania.”
Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Individual Obamacare rates set to increase by 30 percent in Pa.
In Western Pennsylvania, UPMC Health Plan is increasing rates an average 41 percent, while Highmark Inc. is increasing rates by an average 25 percent, according to rate filings. UPMC Health Plan had requested an average increase of 8 percent, while Highmark had requested an average increase of 20 percent. Anticipating Trump might eliminate the payments, the insurance department asked insurers to prepare alternative rate proposals, which the department approved after last week’s announcement. The annual open enrollment period for the plans runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.