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CA Department of Insurance

California works to combat Trump’s undermining of the ACA

News: 2017 Press Release

For Release: August 1, 2017
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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California works to combat Trump’s undermining of the ACA
Will consumers pay the higher “Trump Rates” in 2018?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today, the product offerings and proposed 2018 rates for individual market products that will be sold through Covered California were released. President Trump has refused to commit to making the 2018 Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and in fact has even threatened to withhold this funding in 2017. Given Trump's actions, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced in April that he would be accepting two sets of rate filings from insurers for 2018—one set with the CSRs funded and a second set of higher premiums that could be used if Trump stops making CSR payments. The average premium increase in 2018 if the CSR payments are made is 12.5 percent. However, if Trump withholds the CSR payments, the average rate surcharge on top of the average 12.5 percent premium increase is an additional 12.4 percent increase to those purchasing Silver products through Covered California—a doubling of the average rate increase.

The California Department of Insurance and the Department of Managed Health Care have posted on their websites both sets of the proposed rates submitted by individual market carriers and the departments are reviewing the rates to make determinations of reasonableness. State regulators lack the authority to prevent excessive rate increases.

"Thanks to the actions of President Trump, in April I took the unprecedented step authorizing health insurers to file two sets of rates for 2018," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "We in California are doing everything we can to keep carriers and plans in the individual market, but President Trump continues to undermine the ACA and as these rate filings demonstrate, California is not immune to his efforts to wreck the Affordable Care Act. If President Trump continues down this path, premiums will increase substantially in 2018. The average premium increase doubles if Trump continues to refuse to fund the cost-sharing assistance in the ACA."

Covered California announced today that Anthem will be exiting multiple regions of the individual market in California in 2018, though coverage for consumers in those areas will remain in place through December 31 of this year. Though Anthem is decreasing the number of areas in which it will sell products through Covered California, the California Department of Insurance was successful in keeping Health Net in the market and expanding its product offerings by offering a new PPO in many of the same regions in which Anthem is exiting.

"Insurance companies have had to make decisions about health insurance premiums and market participation for 2018 under the cloud of President Trump's actions undermining the Affordable Care Act, including his threat to withhold the ACA funding that reduces deductibles and co-pays for millions of Americans. It is good news that Health Net will be offering a new PPO product through Covered California in many of the same regions from which Anthem is exiting the market. Californians throughout the state will continue to be able to buy health insurance through Covered California, where most consumers are eligible for a premium subsidy," continued Jones.

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Media Notes:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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