Health Insurance plan rates stabilize, offer more choice for consumers
Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today announced that health insurance rates in Pennsylvania have moderated significantly, counter to the national trend, after Wolf Administration efforts to combat the effects of sabotage on health insurance markets by the federal government and specifically the Trump Administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Importantly, the filings indicate that rate increases in Pennsylvania will be significantly more modest in 2019 than other states and many consumers will see more choices in their local markets as a result of Pennsylvania’s efforts to increase competition.
The individual and small group insurance markets have been subject to intense and deliberate sabotage by the federal government in the past year, including: the elimination of cost-sharing reductions, shortening of the open enrollment period, slashed federal funding for outreach to consumers, the elimination of the individual mandate, and the continual threat of the repeal of the ACA, which has created instability and uncertainty for insurers and consumers.
“Despite these efforts, under the leadership of Gov. Tom Wolf, our department has made it a top priority to ensure that Pennsylvanians have access to affordable coverage options. Building on this progress, the modest rate requests and increased competition are further indications that the ACA is working in Pennsylvania,” Altman said. “However, the ongoing attempts and recent proposed rules being considered at the federal level to dismantle the ACA still have the potential to jeopardize market stability in future years and negatively impact health insurance consumers. We will continue to work to protect the progress we have made, including Pennsylvania’s lowest uninsured rate on record, and make affordability and access our top priorities for consumers.”
The health insurers that currently sell in Pennsylvania’s individual market will all stay in the market and filed plans for 2019 requesting aggregate statewide increases of 4.9 percent. In addition, the insurers that currently sell in Pennsylvania’s small group market filed plans requesting aggregate statewide increases of 3 percent. For context, in neighboring states, insurers are asking for average rate increases above 20 percent for 2019 coverage.