California exchange will tell insurers to raise premiums if ACA subsidies aren't secured

California's health insurance exchange will instruct insurers to increase premium prices if the federal government doesn't confirm it will pay the ACA's cost-sharing reductions by mid-August, according to a California Healthline report.

The Obama administration paid insurers cost-sharing reductions to help offset the cost of providing discounted deductibles to low-income ACA health plan enrollees. Those payments are the center of a pending lawsuit by House Republicans, and President Donald Trump has also said he may halt the payments, according to the report.

The state insurance exchange has also told participating payers to file alternative premium requests for 2018 that take into account the loss of CSRs. The deadline for insurers to file proposed premium rates for 2018 is June 30.

Amy Palmer, director of communications for Covered California, said in an email to California Healthline, "Bottom line, we have come to the conclusion that if there's no federal commitment to fund [the subsidies] by mid-August, we will presume they will not be funded and use higher rates for 2018."

A recent Covered California-commissioned analysis found premiums for silver-level ACA health plans could increase 16.6 percent if CSRs are not issued.  

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