October 17, 2017
Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued the following statement on his decision about health insurance rates following President Trump’s order to end federal cost-sharing reduction funding:
OLYMPIA, Wash. – “President Trump’s devastating refusal to pay federal funding that helps people afford health insurance leaves me no choice but to reluctantly allow health insurers to charge higher premiums for 2018. Not allowing the higher rates would cause further instability in our market.
“The higher rates – ranging from 9 percent 27 percent more than they proposed in June – depending on the insurer, are essentially a tax that President Trump is imposing on consumers.
“Make no mistake: the president had a choice and he chose to make health care cost significantly more for people who need help. The fallout from this lands squarely on his shoulders. He ignored thoughtful and realistic recommendations from insurance regulators, insurers, doctors, business organizations and consumer advocates from across the country.
“Although many people who buy policies through our state’s exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, will still receive subsidies, others will see much higher premiums. The federal government also will end paying more. Insurers in our state will also be making future decisions about staying in an unstable market because of the president’s actions. President Trump is putting the entire market at risk.”
Read the letter Kreidler sent to Washington state health insurers on Oct. 16.