California Slaps Surcharge On ACA Plans As Trump Remains Coy On Subsidies

Kaiser Health News, October 12, 2017

With the future of ACA subsidies unclear, Covered California decided to tack a 12.4 percent surcharge on certain health plans in 2018, with taxpayers expected to cover most of the added cost.

Covered California Enrollment

This article first appeared October 11, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.

By Chad Terhune

California’s health exchange said Wednesday it has ordered insurers to add a surcharge to certain policies next year because the Trump administration has yet to commit to paying a key set of consumer subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

The decision to impose a 12.4 percent surcharge on silver-level health plans in 2018 means the total premium increase for them will average nearly 25 percent, according to Covered California. Taxpayers, not consumers, will bear the brunt of the extra rate hike because federal premium assistance for policyholders, which is pegged to the cost of coverage, will also increase.

Statewide, rate increases will vary by insurer and region. What consumers pay depends on where they live, their income, what level of coverage they want and which insurer they choose.

Californians can get their first look at next year’s health plan prices and options on the state’s rate calculator, released Wednesday.

Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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