HARRISBURG, PA– Today, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department released the new rates for the individual and small group insurance markets, which will average 30.6% higher than last year’s rates on select plans in the ACA marketplace. Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network released the following statement in response:
“The higher rates announced by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department today are a direct result of the reckless actions taken to sabotage the ACA marketplace by the Drumpf Administration last week. If it weren’t for these actions, Pennsylvanians would have seen a very different announcement today: lower rate increases and an increasingly stable insurance marketplace.
The good news, however, is that financial assistance is still available to help Pennsylvanians pay for their insurance, and the 4 in 5 Pennsylvanians who get financial assistance will not feel the full impact of these rate hikes. Proactive planning on the part of the Insurance Department and marketplace insurers has meant that the highest rates will only impact the Silver Level Plan, the plan that offers the most financial help. For those who don’t qualify for financial assistance, alternative options are still available.
This year, more than ever, it will be essential for people using the insurance marketplace to talk with a trained health insurance navigator about their options. Navigators can help people free of charge to make sure people select the plans with the best coverage and lowest rates available to them. Since the Open Enrollment period ends December 15th and has been shortened by half this year, planning ahead and contacting a navigator as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. PHAN has navigators across the state who can assist individuals with their options. People can reach the PHAN helpline by calling or texting 877-570-3642.”
- While overall rates will increase by an average of 30.6%, Silver level Marketplace plan rates will increase much more than Bronze, Gold, and Platinum plans to maximize the amount of financial assistance enrollees can get.
- All financial assistance including tax credits and Cost Sharing Reductions s will be available to consumers for all of 2018. Four out of five enrollees in PA get financial assistance. When rates rise, so too does the assistance to offset this rate increase.
- Because financial assistance is tied to Silver plans and Silver plans have large increases and the other plans do not, those enrolled in Bronze, Gold, or Platinum plans may see decreased payments because of the increase in financial assistance.
- For the 2018 year, all five participating insurance companies in Pennsylvania’s Marketplace agreed to remain and sought an aggregate increase in the individual market of 8.8 percent if cost sharing reductions and the individual mandate had remained intact. Both of these are signs that the Marketplace in Pennsylvania is stabilizing after last year’s hefty rate increases.
- Open Enrollment begins November 1st and runs through December 15th. This year, it has been shortened by half – from 12 weeks to 6 weeks.
- Individuals can contact a PHAN navigator free of charge by calling or texting 1-877-570-3642