DENVER — President Donald Trump’s decision to end a key federal health subsidy means state residents who buy their own health insurance will pay even more next year, Colorado’s Division of Insurance said Friday.
The Denver Post reports the average increase for individual market premiums next year will be nearly 33 percent over this year. That figure is according to the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Trump announced late Thursday he would end the subsidy, which helps those with modest incomes pay deductibles and other costs when buying their own health insurance. The Trump administration and many Republicans say the government cannot legally continue to make the so-called cost-sharing payments.
The subsidies differ from tax credits that help residents pay their insurance premiums.
Regulators had announced in September that average premiums would rise by 27 percent in 2018 but had asked insurance companies for alternate proposals in the event the subsidies were withdrawn.
Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar insisted no insurers will leave the state’s market after Trump’s decision.
About 8 percent of Coloradans buy health insurance in the individual market.
Attorneys general in at least a dozen states, including California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York, said Friday that they planned to sue the Trump administration to keep the federal subsidy.
The payments to insurance companies are a major piece of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which extended coverage to low- and moderate-income people in multiple ways. More than 6 million people benefit from the cost-sharing subsidies, which cost the federal government about $7 billion. That cost is expected to more than double within a decade.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said Trump’s decision would destabilize individual markets. “To undermine the individual market is cruelty without benefit,” Hickenlooper said in a statement Friday.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com