Premiums To Spike 30 Percent In PA After Trump Cuts O’Care Subsidies

Alex Brandon/AP

The insurance commissioner in Pennsylvania announced Monday that premiums for health insurance plans available through the Obamacare market place would rise by an average of 30.6 percent due to President Donald Trump’s decision last week to end subsidies to insurance companies.

“It is with great regret that I must announce approved rates that are substantially higher than what companies initially requested,” Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said in a statement. “This is not the situation I hoped we would be in, but due to President Trump’s refusal to make cost-sharing reduction payments for 2018 and Congress’s inaction to appropriate funds, it is the reality that state regulators must face and the reason rate increases will be higher than they should be across the country.”

Pennsylvania officials had initially projected rates would increase by 7.6 percent on average before Trump decided to end payments to insurance companies that help insurers cover low-income Americans with significant health needs. The 30 percent rise in premiums will only hit silver level plans, per the Pennsylvania insurance department.

In her statement, Altman made it clear that Trump’s decision to end the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments prompted the significant rate increase.

“The president’s deliberate action and Congress’s failure to appropriate these funds despite repeated requests is forcing large rate increases on consumers in Pennsylvania and around the country, but my department is doing what we can to help our consumers understand their options and hopefully shield them from these rate increases,” Altman said.

Trump’s decision last week to end the payments has caused premiums to rise in several states as insurers file for emergency rate hikes.

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