Study: Trump's Mixed Signals Trigger Health Premium Jumps
Study finds that the uncertainty surrounding health care is contributing to premium increases next year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 10, 2017 5:48 PM CDT
In this July 24, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and others, speaks about healthcare, in the Blue Room...   (Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Actions by the Trump administration are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many people, according to a nonpartisan study. The analysis released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from President Donald Trump have created uncertainty "far outside the norm" and led insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case, the AP reports. Republicans in Congress have not delivered on their promise to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. Trump is insisting that lawmakers try again and that the health overhaul is collapsing. At the same time, he's threatened to stop billions of dollars in payments to insurers. Some Republicans are considering fallback measures to stabilize markets.

Kaiser researchers looked at proposed premiums for a benchmark silver plan across major metropolitan areas in 20 states and Washington, DC. Overall, they found that 15 of those cities will see increases of 10% or more next year. The highest is a 49% jump in Wilmington, Delaware. The only decline: a 5% reduction in Providence, Rhode Island. About 10 million people who buy policies through HealthCare.gov and state-run markets are potentially affected, as are 5 million to 7 million more who purchase individual policies on their own. Those in the government-sponsored markets can dodge the hit with the help of tax credits that most of them qualify for to help pay premiums. But off-marketplace customers pay full freight, and they face a second consecutive year of steep increases. Many are self-employed business owners. Click for more from the study.

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