Speed Reads

health-care battle

Uncertainty about what the Trump administration is doing with health care has already led insurers to increase costs

Health insurance companies are saying that no matter what happens with the Republican health-care bill in the coming months, premiums will go up in 2018 just from the uncertainty of the situation. "The health plans I work with want to stay in, but the Trump administration is not making that easy," insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski explained to Vox.

In one example, CareFirst, a BlueCross BlueShield plan in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., submitted 2018 premiums last week that reflect hikes averaging between 39 and 52 percent depending on the state. While chief executive Chet Burrell said the prices would have risen no matter what due to a loss of money while on the ObamaCare marketplace, an extra 15 percent was added on top of that specifically over doubts about the Trump administration enforcing the individual mandate.

"Uncertainty breeds higher costs," New Mexico Health Connections chief executive Martin Hickey told Vox. "We have to plan for the worst case scenario until it finally gets decided."