Illinois Prepared For Higher Obamacare Premiums, Missouri Still Reviewing

Brian Kelly @brpkelly

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) – Illinois officials say despite President Donald Trump stopping cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies, those who get subsidies for health insurance shouldn’t get stuck paying big premium increases.

Missouri officials, on the other hand, aren’t so sure.

Illinois insurance director Jennifer Hammer says her state expected the move, and started working months ago with companies to make sure the actuarial assumptions they put together for ratings included the non payment of CSRs.

“What that does,” she says, “is require the federal government to pick up the cost in the tax credits rather than paying that dollar amount through the CSRs.”

She says that will shield consumers who receive subsidies from premium increases.

“Tax credits will make up the differential between what that household can afford compared to the premium price. So, the increased premium, the difference in that premium increase, will be picked up by the federal government.”

That, Hammer says, should protect most of the consumers who get their insurance on the exchange.

“The consumers who receive the cost-sharing subsidies were on the silver plans, and because we loaded those costs for the non-payment of CSR’s on the silver plan, the affected consumers will likely be protected.”

Illinois has a small portion of consumers who are not eligible for subsidies who purchased silver plans in the past. She says they should shop around during the open enrollment period that runs from November 1 through December 15.

“The most important message we can get out to consumers so they are educated during this open enrollment period, is that they should shop around and not passively re-enroll in the plan they had last year.”

She says the state will provide various resources to help them find the best plan and several ways to purchase plans on the exchange.

That won’t be the case in Missouri. In a statement to KMOX, Insurance Department Director Grady Martin wrote, “Our team is reviewing these actions (the President’s executive orders) to determine what impact they will have on the Missouri health insurance market…Missouri law under Section 376.1186 prohibits the department from providing assistance or resources of any kind with regard to the operation of the federal marketplace”

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