Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina has requested a hefty 22.9 percent Obamacare rate increase for 2018.  Most of this increase is due to the fact that the health plan does not expect the Trump administration to keep paying the law’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies.

 This is one of the first tangible examples of Trump administration actions driving up Obamacare premiums. The North Carolina plan has said it would only raise premiums 8.8 percent if it had assurances that the Trump administration would keep funding that program. But the White House has been very ambiguous on this point, only committing to making this month’s payment — leaving the rest of this year and 2018 in limbo. As a direct result, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina is asking for a very big rate increase.
Chief executive, Brad Wilson explained:

“The information we’ve seen coming from the administration actually creates more uncertainty rather than greater certainty. The last thing I saw was the president saying he intends to make the CSR money available through May 2017. That’s good news and we’re grateful for that assurance. But what he has not said is what about June through December, what about 2018. There’s a big void. There is no assurance.

We try to deal with reality, what is being said right now, what can we reasonably rely on. We had to file a rate last week. If things change, or the money is made available, I’m sure we’d take that into account. But right now we cannot assume nor should we assume the money is going to be there. Not based on what we know today.”

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