Trump’s Decision On Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Could Hurt California Consumers

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The Trump administration’s decision to give health insurers until Sept. 5 to file their 2018 rates will not have an effect in California.

That is because California insurers have already announced plans to raise rates an average of 12.5 percent next year.

But premiums could go up even more, depending on what President Trump decides to do with cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs.

These federal subsidies help reduce low-income consumers’ out-of-pocket costs.

California insurers say if CSRs are eliminated, premiums will increase an additional 12 percent.

Carmen Balber, executive director of the Santa Monica-based nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, said low-income policy holders would see increased tax credits that cover most of that increase.

“But those consumers who do not receive subsidies, will get the double whammy,” she explained. “Because they’re already not receiving subsidies, now they’ll be paying an extra 12 percent premium increase on top of their existing premiums.”

Trump has threatened to kill CSRs as a means to force Democrats to agree to change the Affordable Care Act.

CSRs are paid monthly. The next payment is due Aug. 21.

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