Thousands of customers on Connecticut’s health insurance exchange will pay higher premiums next year in part due to President Donald Trump’s continued threats to suspend key payments to insurers who sell Affordable Care Act plans.
State Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said the department assumed Trump would end the cost-sharing reductions when approving average rate increases this week of 31.7 percent for Anthem customers and 27.7 percent for ConnectiCare customers.
That decision was made, “because we needed to provide certainty for the market, certainty for the exchange and certainty for the consumers of the state of Connecticut,” Wade told board members of Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, during a meeting Thursday.
We are here to remind everyone that the Affordable Care Act is still the law.
The Senate’s health committee is in the process of drafting bipartisan legislation to protect the cost-sharing reductions — which enable insurers to offer discount silver-level plans for low-income customers — but it didn’t come in time for Connecticut to set its rates for Obamacare plans.
“What happens if the federal funding continues and we have rates that … have been increased?” asked Robert Tessier, vice chair of Access Health’s board.
Wade said she believed the department would be able to lower rates if there was certainty about federal funding.
Customers on Access Health CT who qualify for tax credits to help pay their premiums will see those subsidies increase as rates rise. But board member Paul Philpott asked about the 26 percent of enrollees who receive no federal assistance.