Avera and Sanford health plans are planning to raise premiums for the Affordable Care Act health coverage they sell in South Dakota (Avera 20%; Sanford 7.5%). Both companies say those increases will jump even more if Donald Trump follows through on his threat to cut the cost-sharing reduction payments:
Sanford Health Plan President Kirk Zimmer said the company would likely have to recalculate its rates and refile them if the payments are to stop. The 2018 open enrollment period starts Nov. 1.
“Our rates are filed as long as the federal government agrees to continue payment of the cost-sharing reductions,” Zimmer said. “We’re firmly committed to being on the exchange for 2018.”
…Avera Health Plans CEO Debra Muller said she believes the state would provide insurance carriers with an opportunity to adjust their rates if the payments are cut off, but she said they need to be funded for “market stabilization.”
“I think that’s what everybody’s directionally trying to do right now is to figure out how we maintain stability in the individual market going into 2018 without knowing what the federal government is going to decide to do, whether it be President Trump or Congress,” she said [“SD Insurers Urge Trump to Make Health Law Payments,” AP via Pierre Capital Journal, 2017.08.16].
I don’t like agreeing with big insurance companies, but Avera and Sanford are simply confirming what Kaiser Family Foundation reported last week and what the CBO reported Tuesday about the negative impact Trump’s threats may have on insurance premiums. Donald Trump is out to make your health insurance more expensive.