by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Health care insurers in Idaho have requested premium rate hikes as high as 81 percent for next year, according to the state’s Department of Insurance. …
… For all plans, insurers requested rates ranging from a low of 25 percent to a high of 51 percent for a combined average statewide rate increase of 38 percent. For Obamacare’s popular Silver plan, the average rate increase among all insurers was even higher at 50 percent, with one insurer requesting a high of 81 percent.
“I am deeply disappointed and frustrated to share these rates,” said Dean Cameron, who directs the department. “I understand how difficult it will be for Idahoans to afford reasonable coverage, especially those without a subsidy.”
He noted that premiums for the Silver plans are significantly higher due to the uncertainty of Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program.
“I call on Congress to either repeal the CSR requirement or fund the program,” Cameron said. “That action alone would reduce the proposed increase by at least 20 percent on the Silver plans.” …
… “If Congress is unable to repeal or replace, I ask that they do the following three things at a minimum to stabilize the market and reduce rates: fund or repeal the CSR mechanism (estimated savings of 20%), fund High Risk Reinsurance Pools, similar to proposals in both bodies of Congress (estimated savings of 10% to 20%), allow true consumer choice of plans, similar to the Cruz amendment, either on or off exchange (estimated savings of 20% to 50% compared to ACA plans),” Cameron said.