Health Insurers Face Uncertainty Crafting 2018 Plans

Mar 1, 2017

Health insurers are expected to file their plans for 2018 in May. They’re faced with uncertainty about how much to charge as federal lawmakers work on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Here’s how health insurers figure out what to charge you for a plan each year. They determine how much they spent on health care claims over the previous year and project what they might spend in the coming year. Plus they figure in all the regulations governing what health insurance must cover.

Then they submit their request for plan or price changes to, in Rhode Island’s case, the health insurance commissioner. But how do you plan when you don’t know what those regulations will look like? Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island attorney Monica Neronha.

“So at this point we think it’s so uncertain. We’re waiting for a lot more information. And we’re encouraging our customers to stay the course, stay focused on what the current requirements are. And we’ll adjust as we learn more and gain more certainty.”

Neronha says she believes any large scale changes in the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect until the 2020 plan year. 

Insurers recently visited with President Donald Trump to ask for reassurances and a stable marketplace. But Republicans are still working on plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.