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Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Pens Letter to HHS Secretary Price, Urges Market Stabilization

August 01, 2017

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller yesterday sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price urging the federal government to commit to continued cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to help shore up Pennsylvania’s insurance marketplace.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 57 percent of Pennsylvania’s insurance marketplace enrollees benefit from CSRs.

Commissioner Miller cautioned that without these commitments, Pennsylvania’s five individual market insurers could be forced to raise their 2018 policy year rates by an average of 20.3 percent. Insurers originally requested an 8.8 percent increase in rates during 2018. This increase could affect more than half a million Pennsylvanians.

“Without a commitment to make cost-sharing reductions to insurers for the entire 2018 policy year, I will be forced to permit our insurers to build the instability caused by this uncertainty…into their rates,” Commissioner Miller wrote in the letter.

The Trump Administration and HHS could issue a decision about CSRs as early as today.

During May 2017, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined 15 states and the District of Columbia in a joint motion to intervene in the U.S. House of Representatives’ lawsuit over the legality of CSRs under the Affordable Care Act. Consideration of the lawsuit has been delayed until later this month.

HAP continues to advocate for federal support to lower insurance premiums and help Pennsylvania’s consumers maintain access to health coverage, and is carefully monitoring all legislative, executive, and judicial action on these issues. Contact Laura Stevens Kent, vice president, federal legislative advocacy, for more information. 

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