New Study Shows Continued Sabotage is Destabilizing the Health Care Marketplace, Driving Up Premiums

Latest analysis projects insurance premiums could rise more than 50 percent over the next three years

Indianapolis, Ind. – Another analysis found the Administration’s efforts to undermine and destabilize health insurance markets is projected to result in higher premiums for families in Indiana and across the country on the individual marketplace.

Covered California Analysis – 3/8/18

A new report shows that continued instability in the health care marketplace is putting health insurance access at risk due to potentially massive premium increases. The analysis, from Covered California, shows that 17 states could see ‘catastrophic’ premium increases (more than 90%) by 2021, while another 19 states, including Indiana, could see ‘high’ increases (more than 50%).

The report specifically notes sabotage efforts as the reason for these potential increases: “Recent health care actions taken by Congress and the federal administration — elimination of the insurance mandate penalty, proposing greater flexibility to allow for association and short-term, limited-duration plans — are expected to draw consumers out of the individual market, sowing market instability and raising the specter of large premium increases in 2019 and beyond.”[1]

Donnelly said today, “This is another study confirming that the Administration’s efforts to sabotage our nation’s health care system is leading to financial consequences for Hoosier families in the form of higher premiums. The Administration should abandon these harmful actions and instead work together, with a bipartisan coalition in Congress, to make health care more affordable.”

Urban Institute Study – 2/27/18

Another recent study, from the independent Urban Institute, found that continued sabotage efforts by the Administration could cause Indiana’s health care premiums in the individual market to rise 19.6% in 2019 due to policy changes including the tax law, which raises health care costs for families, and the recently announced short-term insurance plans. The study also notes these policy changes, along with the Administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reduction payments and reduce advertising and enrollment efforts, will lead to a total of 702,000 uninsured Hoosiers in 2019, which is 220,000 more, or 45.6% higher, than it would be without these changes.

Discussing the Urban Institute findings, Donnelly said in February, “As this independent study shows, continued efforts by the Administration to undermine our health care system are projected to result in double-digit premium hikes for Hoosier families. I continue to urge the Administration to work on efforts that will make health care more affordable instead of maintaining this destructive path.”

Short Term Plans Rule – 2/22/18

Further, recently proposed rules from the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, would continue the Administration’s efforts to undermine health insurance markets and raise health care costs for Hoosiers, while failing to offer protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The health plans, proposed in February, would allow consumers to buy so-called ‘skimpy’ plans for up to 364 days at time, reversing the current limitation that these plans can only be used for three months at a time as a bridge option for consumers. These plans, sold outside of the current health insurance exchanges including in Indiana, allow for discrimination based on pre-existing condition, allows consumers to be charged more when sick, and are not required to cover essential health care benefits including emergency services or preventative care.

Following that announcement from the Administration, Donnelly said in February, “Instead of working to improve access to quality and affordable health care, the Administration is continuing its efforts to undermine the health care system and raise health care costs by offering skimpy, off-marketplace plans that deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and in need of substance use treatment.”