80,000 in Massachusetts could see their premiums rise by at least 20% next year as a direct result of Trump’s new plan

Boston (October 13, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) released the following statement in response to reports that President Trump will end the cost-sharing reduction payments provided through the Affordable Care Act. 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.
“President Trump is playing a game of Jenga with America’s health care, and cutting cost-sharing subsidies fosters even more instability throughout the insurance market,” said Senator Markey. “Not only is he is pulling the rug out from under low-income households by withholding these payments, his actions will also directly result in higher premiums across the country. We should expand and permanently extend the cost-sharing reduction payment program and ensure essential health benefits are provided to those who are counting on them.

“President Trump and Republicans did not have the votes to repeal Obamacare, so they are instead sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and dismantling it through executive orders. Instead of playing these political games, we should be focused on bipartisan efforts to reduce cost and bring certainty and stability to the health care marketplace. Ending the cost-sharing reduction payments will cause premiums to increase, and the public has no one to blame for these cost hikes but the President himself.”

As a result of the instability caused by President Trump’s continual threats to end the subsidies, many insurance companies have already significantly raised premiums to adjust for the uncertainty or have left the market altogether. Together with Trump’s announcement yesterday to allow for unregulated plans with little to no consumer protections to enter into the market, the President is undermining the financial and health security of millions of Americans.