Calif. seeks dual rate predictions

The California Department of Insurance has authorized health insurance carriers to file two sets of rates for 2018 — one under Obamacare, the second under a GOP-produced plan.

Dave JonesThe administration’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act “have created immense uncertainly and instability for 2018’s health insurance market,” the commissioner’s office said.

Dave Jones, left, said: “Given the actions by President Trump and House Republican leaders, I have taken the unprecedented step of authorizing health insurers to file more than one set of proposed rates for 2018 — one assuming the ACA is enforced and funded, and the other assuming that President Trump and House Republican leaders continue to undermine or repeal the law and cause unnecessary premium increases.”

The state Department of Insurance receives preliminary rate filings for individual market products on May 1 for the following calendar year. These proposed rates are also provided to Covered California for its products.

Insurers have been asked to predict how rates will differ if the individual mandate to have insurance is not enforced and if the federal funding for subsidies is not provided.

Covered California chief Peter Lee recently called on GOP leaders to provide guidance on the direction of health-care policy, saying rates need to be locked down by June 15: “The cost of inaction or indecision is high and consumers, particularly those who do not get any financial help, will end up bearing the cost.”

Jones is a declared candidate for state attorney general in 2018.

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