Colorado insurance commissioner points finger at Trump administration for massive rate hikes

Marguerite Salazar says that uncertainty generated by the president led to the 27 percent rate hike requests.

Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar’s department received requests for 27 percent rate hikes in the individual market and 7.3 percent for small group. The commissioner is not happy and blames the Trump administration for the uncertainty they’ve created within the market.

Salazar said the games played by the Trump administration have caused the health insurance market to become unstable.

The result of these actions, said the Colorado insurance commissioner, was huge 2018 rate hike requests in her state. The average health insurance rate hike request within the individual market, across all companies and health plans, was 27 percent. In the small group market, the figure was 7.5 percent.

These additional rate hike requests follow closely on the heels of the large ones that already occurred in 2017. This year, the individual market saw health plans becoming 20 percent more expensive, on average.

The Colorado insurance commissioner says that the high rate hike requests are the result of marketplace uncertainty.

denver colorado insurance commissioner“It remains pivotal that the Trump administration stops using people’s access to health care as a bargaining chip and commits to funding the Cost-Sharing Reductions in 2018,” said Salazar. She also pointed out that the skyrocketing rate increase requests have not come as a surprise to her. “I believe that the dubious situation at the federal level has contributed to the premium increase requests we’ve seen from the companies.”

The insurance commissioner was not alone in her opinion about the situation regarding health plan premiums. The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) reflected her sentiments. They released a statement via Adam Fox, CCHI Director of Strategic Engagement explaining that indications that the market was stabilizing should have driven congress to work to polish the existing Affordable Care Act instead of repealing it. “If the Senate bill passes, Coloradans will see tax credits decrease, seniors charged more, and more rate increases,” he said.

According to Fox, the CCHI feels health insurance companies should be working with providers to better the quality and affordability of care and coverage “by addressing the underlying health care costs instead of responding to the chaos created by Congress and this Administration.

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