Health insurers in California could file 2018 individual major medical rates that highlight the possible effects of two proposed Affordable Care Act changes on coverage prices.
Dave Jones, the state’s insurance commissioner, has invited insurers to file two sets of individual rates: one that shows the cost of coverage written using the current ACA rules, and one that shows what the rates will be if Congress eliminates the ACA individual health coverage mandate and the ACA cost-sharing reduction subsidy program.
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The managers of HealthCare.gov and some other states with state-run public exchange programs and rate review programs have postponed their filing deadlines to give carriers more time to deal with uncertainty over how the market will work next year.
Jones is keeping California’s May 1 deadline for preliminary rate filings in place and giving insurers a chance to reflect the impact of elimination of the ACA cost-sharing reduction subsidy and the ACA coverage requirements on next year’s coverage prices.
“My continued hope is that President Trump stops undermining the ACA and instead enforces and funds it, and that the House leadership stops efforts to pass legislation to repeal or otherwise undermine the ACA,” Jones writes in a public letter to California health insurers about the request for two sets of rates.
“It is with this hope that I ask insurers to file rates that would reflect the president reversing course and enforcing and funding the ACA, which is the law,” Jones writes. “However, the department will accept a separate preliminary rate filing reflecting rates should the president not change his current course.”
What Jones Does
California has a two-track system for regulating health coverage.
The California Department of Managed Health Care oversees commercial managed care plans, including commercial health maintenance organization plans, with about 13 million enrollees, according to the California Health Care Foundation.
The department Jones runs, the California Department of Insurance, regulates traditional health insurance coverage for 1.4 million California residents, according to foundation figures.