Arizona Insurers: No Rate Hike Despite Trump Ending ACA Subsidies

By Will Stone
Published: Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 5:05am

Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to cut off key subsidies, the two insurers selling plans on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace in Arizona will not raise their rates for next year.

For months, Trump had been threatening to stop paying what’s known as cost-sharing reductions payments, which go to insurers and lower the cost of care for low-income people enrolled in ACA plans.

This week, the president made good on his promise.

In the short term, Arizona consumers won’t see their coverage options change or get more expensive. Neither Blue Cross Blue Shield nor Health Net intend to redo the rates they filed with the state because they had planned ahead.

But after 2018, without those subsidies, the situation could change dramatically. In recent years, Arizona has struggled to keep insurers from exiting the marketplace.

“They could say we are not going to participate,” said Allen Gjersvig with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, which helps enroll people in the marketplace.

Gjersvig calls the move “active calculated sabotage,” especially when you look at it in conjunction with Trump’s executive order, which is expected to siphon off healthy people from the ACA marketplace.

“The promises of a better health plan are simply not true,” he said.

Not everyone agrees. Arizona Republican Congressman Andy Biggs said Trump “is doing everything possible to save Americans from crippling health care costs and decreasing quality of care.”

After a huge increase for 2018 plans, Arizona’s rates are barely changing at all for plans sold next year.

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