California Insurance Commissioner urges Senate to take action to stabilize health insurance market

(Sacramento, CA – Insurance News and Markets) – Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones reached out to Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray to express concern over the instability in the individual health insurance market created by the uncertainty surrounding continuation of the Cost-Sharing Reduction payments (CSRs) provided for in the Affordable Care Act and actions taken by the Trump Administration such as reduced enforcement of the individual mandate.

In the letter to Alexander and Murray, who are members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Jones noted that about half of the California residents who receive Advance Premium Tax Credits through Covered California also rely upon CSRs to afford the health care covered by their health insurance policies.

Earlier this year, Jones authorized California health insurers to file dual rate submissions, one that reflects certainty in CSRs funding, and another that reflects the additional premium loads that will result from uncertainty regarding the funding.

Without the CSRs, Californians who get Silver plans may see rates that are 12.3 percent higher on average than if the CSRs called for in the ACA are funded.

“We have reached the eleventh hour when you must act to fund the CSRs or it will be too late to prevent double digit premium increases because the rates for 2018 must be finalized before the end of this month,” wrote Jones.

Source: California Department of Insurance.