Trump’s decision to stop cost-sharing reduction payments causes premiums for some in Massachusetts to rise by 26 percent

Washington (October 19, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) issued the following statement after Governor Charlie Baker released estimates on the impact of President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel cost-sharing reduction payments in Massachusetts. Most Bay State residents purchasing their insurance on the Health Connector, the Massachusetts individual insurance exchange, will be shielded from the premium increase. However, premiums for 80,000 residents will spike by 26 percent next year as a direct result of the president’s decision to cut the cost-sharing reduction payments. Additionally, by canceling these payments for the remainder of 2017, Massachusetts may not receive the $28 million it is owed this year to help low-income and working families afford their out-of-pocket health care costs.
“Massachusetts is a health care leader and success story, but even we are not immune to President Trump’s efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Markey. “Ending the federal payments to help with out-of-pocket health care costs impacts everyone in the individual insurance market. When Bay Staters see their premiums spike next year, they can place the blame squarely on President Trump.”
“The bipartisan insurance market stabilization deal negotiated by my colleagues in the Senate would help to address cost increases by guaranteeing payments through 2019,” continued Senator Markey. “For the sake of the people of Massachusetts and families across the country who rely on these critical funds to afford their health insurance, I call on the Republican leadership in the House and Senate to support and pass this legislation and urge President Trump to return to his original support for this bipartisan deal.”
Cost-sharing reduction payments were included in the Affordable Care Act to help enrollees earning less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level – around $30,000 for an individual and $62,000 for a family of four – afford their out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. These payments, made directly to insurance companies on behalf of low-income and working-class enrollees, are worth an estimated $7 billion this year.
Massachusetts is one of nearly 20 other states and the District of Columbia that filed a lawsuit to force the federal government to continue making the cost-sharing reduction payments.