By Emily St. John MandelAssociated PressIn the past week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would allow insurance companies to raise premiums by up to 10 percent on average for the first time in decades.
The order, which will affect the majority of the roughly 1 million people who buy health insurance through an employer or through an individual plan, is the most consequential piece of legislation in Trump’s first year in office.
It is also likely to have little impact on the health care industry.
Insurance companies have long enjoyed the power to raise rates on the average, but Trump’s order could significantly reduce that.
Insurers will still have the option to raise the rate on the individual market, but that’s unlikely to happen.
The government’s rate-setting agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, will be able to set the rate for individual market insurance in 2018.
And, like other rate-setters, the government will have the ability to change rates without Congress’ approval.
A Trump administration official told me the administration will review the order “in the coming weeks” and “we will make a determination as to whether or not we should allow any rate increases in the individual health insurance market.”
But, the official said, the administration is focused on making the changes to the individual insurance market as soon as possible.
The health insurance industry is watching the new order closely.
A survey from the consulting firm Avalere Health found that 76 percent of respondents believe that the order will hurt the health insurance and the economy, and that the president’s order will make it more expensive to cover those with pre-existing conditions.
The White House said in a statement to The Associated Press that the administration has a “robust process” to review and approve the new rate hikes.
The decision to raise prices in the marketplaces will impact the ability of the government to get health insurance to those with medical conditions.
But the new administration’s decision could have a far-reaching effect on how much people with pre or post-existing health conditions will be covered.
Trump said the order would help reduce costs.
“Our plan to help small businesses and individuals keep their premiums down will allow Americans to buy better, lower-cost coverage at the same time,” Trump said in the statement.
“I have directed the Department to immediately begin the process of approving rate increases on a statewide basis and will be reviewing the full range of rates to ensure that the costs for the individual markets are no higher than the rates in the state marketplace.”
The order also will allow the administration to make changes to how insurers charge for care in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
States that expanded Medicaid will receive a portion of the federal dollars to expand their Medicaid program.
Under the Trump administration’s new rule, insurers will have to spend more money on care in their marketplaces.
And the federal government will be required to pay a portion toward the cost of those care.
But there is no indication yet whether the administration plans to allow insurers to charge more than they are currently paying.
Insurance companies will have until the end of 2018 to raise their rates.
If they don’t, insurers could be fined.
The Treasury Department, which is responsible for overseeing health care reform, has said it is reviewing the order and that it may review it again.
Insurer executives say they are waiting to see how the new president’s policies impact the industry, but they are confident the new rules will have no effect on the market.
“The administration has taken the bold step of opening the door to higher premiums for consumers and insurers,” said Cynthia Wilson, vice president of market analysis at Health Net, an industry research group.
“We are cautiously optimistic that this is a one-time occurrence, and we look forward to the process moving forward.”
Insurers are also concerned that the Trump order could result in more out-of-pocket costs for some people who don’t qualify for Medicaid.
The administration said in its order that if the rate increases are too high, the Obama administration’s Medicaid expansion would end in 2024.
Wilson said insurers will be closely watching the next several weeks to see whether the president will allow them to raise more than 10 percent in the marketplace.
“We have been working with the administration and we are confident that the rate-sets will allow more choices for consumers to lower their health care costs,” she said.
Insider rates for 2018The Kaiser Family Foundation is tracking insurance prices in all 50 states.
Insurers are being cautious about raising rates.
“This is just the first step in a process to evaluate the full impact on health insurance markets, which may be longer and take longer to implement than other steps the administration may take,” said Sarah Anderson, director of policy and communications for the Kaiser Family Foundations.
“While we expect the market to respond fairly quickly to the rate changes, we are monitoring the process closely.”
Insurer rates will be different from the federal average because the government pays the full amount of a company’s premium.
That means insurers