Medica Says Insurance Rate Hikes Necessary if Trump Cuts Obamacare Funding

Jul 31, 2017

Iowans who buy individual health insurance on the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange could see even higher premiums next year if President Donald Trump stops funding subsidies that lower the coverage costs for some patients.

The president has been threatening to stop making cost sharing reduction (CSR) paymentss He may make a decision on CSR this week. 

Medica, the only company still on Iowa’s exchange for 2018, says it will raise premiums if President Trump cuts that funding.

Geoff Bartsh is Medica’s vice president of individual and family business. He says his company is changing its rate proposals to take the president's threat into account.

"We’re moving forward with the assumption that we’re going to stay in the Iowa marketplace in all 99 counties in Iowa," Bartsh says. "We need to make some adjustments to our filing in order to be able to do that, but that is still our intent."

Medica had proposed a 43 percent price increase for Iowa, but Bartsh says it will likely raise prices by another 10 to 20 percent if the president takes away CSR funding.

Bartsh says the threat of losing CSR payments is continuing to create instability and uncertainty in insurance markets.

"One of the things we’ve been asking for consistently is some relief and some certainty on CSR funding, so to have this hanging out there as an unknown is really bad for markets right now," Bartsh says.

Medica has until late September to lock in prices for 2018. The Iowa Insurance Division will have to approve Medica's proposed rates.