Health care premiums will be up to 16 percent higher in 2019 than they would have been had the Trump administration not worked so hard to chip away at the Affordable Care Act.
A new study released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the Trump administration’s decision to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate and expand skimpy short-term health plans have made premiums across the board — whether on the Obamacare marketplace or not — an average of 6 percent higher in 2019 than they otherwise would have been. The study was based on data from insurers that publicly report the effect of those policy changes in their filings to state insurance commissioners.
When considering the added impact from the Trump administration’s decision to stop cost-sharing reduction payments, KFF found that premiums for the ACA’s middle tier silver plans will be about 16 percent higher in 2019 than they could have been. Silver plans are the most popular ACA plans, and the only ones that offer cost-sharing reductions to low-income enrollees, giving them extra savings.
Hot off the presses: 2019 #ACA silver plans will be *16%* higher than they would otherwise be if not for:
– Individual mandate repeal
– Expansion of loosely regulated plans
– Loss of CSR payments
— Cynthia Cox (@cynthiaccox) October 26, 2018
The study provides insight into insurer motivations for increasing prices, with many citing the Trump administration’s policies. Similarly, in 2017, insurers cited uncertainty about the future of the ACA when announcing the increases in premium rates for 2018.
“In setting rates for 2018, some insurers assumed either repeal, reduced enforcement, or public perception of reduced enforcement of the individual mandate would lead to a sicker risk pool in 2018 and priced accordingly,” the analysis stated.
Another KFF study from this month found that 2019 premiums are remaining stable or decreasing in some areas of the country, largely because insurers overestimated the effect of Trump’s policies in those areas. Still, Friday’s analysis found that 2019 premiums would see even greater decreases if the individual mandate were still law.
So when Trump Admin officials brag that premiums have come down (which in some places they have); know they would have come down MORE had it not been for Admin and Congressional actions: https://t.co/5yXnfHVuWr
— julie rovner (@jrovner) October 26, 2018
The study comes less than two weeks before the midterm elections, as Republicans continue to campaign on protecting health care, despite a majority of them backing President Trump in eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions and gutting the Affordable Care Act. A ThinkProgress review of the websites of key Republican Senate candidates found that more than a third had removed their stances on the disastrous American Health Care Act, which would have stripped an estimated 23 million people of health care. Thirty-two Republicans have voted to repeal the ACA at least once, while also claiming they will defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions.