Montana's insurance commissioner says two of the three companies offering health insurance through the individual market in the state cannot adjust their rates following President Donald Trump's decision to end federal subsidies for low-to-middle-income people.
Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale says he'll hold the Montana Health Co-op and PacificSource Health Plans to the rate increases they proposed, which average four percent for the co-op and 7.4 percent for PacificSource.
In June, Montana Health Co-op CEO Jerry Dworak told MTPR that the biggest reason his company was able to keep price increases for next year in the single digits is because of the so-called “cost sharing reductions” that President Trump now says he’s eliminating.
"That's about 20 percent of the total income that we receive," Dworak said, "so if all of a sudden that goes away, then we're going to have to raise the rates up another 20 percent."
Dworak says if the company isn't allowed to update its rates or leave the state it would end up in receivership due to what he calls a political game intent on sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana anticipated President Trump’s move, and set their prices for next year at more than 22 percent higher to account for it.
Commissioner Rosendale is also a candidate for the Republican nomination to run against Senator Jon Tester in 2018.