White House ACA Change Could Mean Higher Premiums

July 9, 2018 — Another action likely to weaken the Affordable Care Act has been introduced by the Trump administration.

It’s freezing a program that takes payments from insurers with healthier customers and redistributes that money to insurers with sicker customers, in order to protect those insurers from financial losses, the Associated Press reported.

Payments for 2017 are $10.4 billion. The program does not use any taxpayer dollars.

The change, which is expected to add to premium increases next year, was slammed by major insurance groups, who said the program is working well, the Associated Press reported.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the main health insurance industry trade group, released a statement saying it is “very discouraged” by the Trump administration’s decision.

“Costs for taxpayers will rise as the federal government spends more on premium subsidies,” the group said.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said it was “extremely disappointed.” The move “will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small business owners and could result in far fewer health plan choices,” association president Scott Serota said in a statement, the AP reported.

“It will undermine Americans’ access to affordable coverage, particularly those who need medical care the most,” he warned.

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