Wisconsin health insurance CEOs expect double-digit premium incr - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin health insurance CEOs expect double-digit premium increases in 2018

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin residents who plan to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual marketplace in 2018 should expect to see at least a ten percent increase in premiums.

That's according to four health insurance company executives, who spoke at a roundtable event put on by the non-partisan Wisconsin Health News Tuesday.

It has been a tough year for health insurance companies, simply because there's been so much uncertainty over what federal law might look like going forward.

Republicans have failed to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare, despite repeated attempts this year.

Still, there is concern about unknowns in 2018.

Wisconsin's Insurance Commissioner told companies to plan for double-digit percent premium increases, because the federal government isn't expected to provide the same level of cost-sharing reductions (CSR) to consumers.

CSR's are subsidy payments that help people pay their premiums. Without them, it is likely many people will simply drop their coverage if they deem it unaffordable.

"We have raised our rates. It's probably double-digit. We may get to the point where there's some stability, maybe even a little bit of profitability in this market," said Terry Bolz, CEO of Quartz Health Solutions.

In addition, people will only be able to sign up for a plan between November 1 and December 15. In past years, enrollment ran 90 days, from Nov. 1 to January 31.

"Not only is the time to enroll shorter, 45 days this year, but there's not as many folks out there to make consumers aware," said Cathy Mahaffey, CEO of Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative.

The Trump administration has already cut payments to navigator groups that provide assistance to people signing up for insurance on the federal marketplace.

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