Offbeat: Obamacare premiums set to soar in 2019 - - PressFrom - US
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Offbeat Obamacare premiums set to soar in 2019

18:16  07 june  2018
18:16  07 june  2018 Source:   cnn.com

States defy Trump on ObamaCare

  States defy Trump on ObamaCare Blue states are defying the Trump administration in a bid to protect ObamaCare and keep their insurance markets stable. Several states, including California and Maryland, are looking to put limits on short-term insurance plans, even as the Trump administration is poised to expand access to them nationwide.The states are doing so because they fear the availability of the short-term plans will drive up premium costs for ObamaCare. On another front, Vermont and New Jersey have passed state laws that require people to buy health insurance. These individual mandate laws are meant replace the now-repealed federal requirement.

Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year. Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019 , with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year. Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019 , with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

a close up of a sign © CNNMoney/Shutterstock

Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year.

Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019, with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

New York insurers want to hike rates by 24%, on average, while carriers in Washington are looking for a 19% average premium increase. In Maryland, CareFirst is asking for an average 18.5% rate bump for its HMO plans and a 91% spike for its PPO policies (which have far fewer enrollees), while Kaiser Permanente wants to boost premiums by more than 37%, on average.

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Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year. Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019 , with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year. Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019 , with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

Many insurers cite two key drivers of the increases: Congress' elimination of the penalty for the individual mandate -- which requires nearly all Americans to have coverage or pay up --and the Trump administration's expected expansion of two types of health plans that don't have to adhere to Obamacare's regulations.

"Health insurance providers are now making decisions about market participation and pricing for the 2019 plan year in a market that continues to face uncertainty and instability challenges," America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry group, wrote in a recent report.

RELATED: Obamacare premiums to rise an average of 15% next year, says CBO

Jettisoning the individual mandate penalty is expected to cause premiums to rise by about 10%, the industry group said, citing reports by the Congressional Budget Office and independent actuaries. That's because younger and healthier people will be more likely to forgo insurance since they will no longer have to pay a penalty. Insurers fear they will then be left with sicker and older policyholders, prompting them to request higher rates to cover the anticipated increase in claims.

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Obamacare premiums are set to soar in 2018 — but there's a big catch. A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that benchmark silver plans on the federal Obamacare exchange would increase an average of 37% between 2017 and 2018.

Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year. Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019 , with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

Also, Trump last year issued an executive order directing federal agencies to make it easier to buy two alternatives to Obamacare plans. One would allow small businesses to band together to buy coverage through association health plans, while the other would let Americans buy short-term coverage that would last less than a year, rather than the current 90-day limit. Both of these types of policies are expected to have lower premiums, but would cover fewer benefits -- making them more attractive to healthier Americans who don't need comprehensive coverage.

Related: Trump officials unveil rule that could chip away at Obamacare

Insurers in remaining states will file proposed rates in coming weeks. Regulators will review the requests and could change them significantly. Premiums will be finalized in September and open enrollment starts November 1.

There are some bright spots in the 2019 Obamacare landscape. Insurers in some states, such as Pennsylvania and Vermont, have requested relatively modest increases. In the Keystone State, insurers are asking for a boost of 4.9% on average. Meanwhile, BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont and MVP Health Care are asking for 7.5% and 10.9% bumps, respectively.

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Brace yourselves -- it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year. Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019 , with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.

“Trumpcare premiums set to rise in 2020”. Headline should read “ Obamacare premiums set to soar in 2019 because of the GOP-led Congress.”

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman attributed the relatively small increase to the state's efforts to maintain enrollment this year after the Trump administration slashed support. Also, the state's individual market remains competitive: Nearly half of counties will have a greater choice of insurers next year, and only eight will have just one carrier, down from 20 this year.

Related: Trump administration unveils alternative to Obamacare

Another plus: Insurers so far haven't pulled out completely from any market in the nation. At various points last year, tens of thousands of Americans in dozens of counties were facing the prospect of having no choice of carriers on their Obamacare exchanges. State regulators, however, were able to convince insurers to offer policies in every county by the time open enrollment began in November.

Also, most Obamacare enrollees won't have to pay more for coverage next year, regardless of how much insurers hike premiums. That's because they receive federal subsidies that limit their rates to less than 10% of their income.

However, the rate hikes will hit the millions of Americans who earn too much for subsidies or who buy individual coverage outside of the Obamacare exchanges.

Court rules insurers not entitled to ObamaCare payments .
A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that insurers are not entitled to collect billions of dollars they claim the federal government owes as part of an ObamaCare program. The three judge panel ruled 2-1, giving a win to conservatives who think the payments under ObamaCare's risk corridor program are illegal bailouts. {The three judge panel ruled 2-1, giving a win to conservatives who think the payments under ObamaCare's risk corridor program are illegal bailouts.

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