November 2, 2017/Press

Commissioner Causey, GOP Efforts to Sabotage Health Care Lead to Rising Insurance Costs

RALEIGH – More NC consumers will see their insurance rates increase thanks to a plan approved by Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. In a move that will impact thousands of North Carolinians, health insurer Cigna announced yesterday that they will increase rates by 25% for customers who purchase ACA plans.

Republicans, including State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who calledthe “staggering increase in health insurance premiums” one of “the three most pressing issues” last year, promised to increase competition and lower rates:

According to his campaign website, Causey “will fight for more competition in North Carolina’s insurance industry which will help drive rates lower…”

These promises ring hollow as Donald Trump tries to sabotage the ACA and hurt millions of Americans by cancelling CSR payments and spreading misinformation about the effectiveness, affordability, and availability of the ACA.

Cigna’s decision highlights a disturbing trend. Blue Cross NC was prepared to keep their rates flat – a near zero increase – but, thanks to Republican sabotage efforts, the only insurer who offers ACA plans in all North Carolina counties implemented a double-digits rate increase. From Blue Cross NC:

“Last week’s executive order from President Trump ending cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers does not impact 2018 premiums. However, ending these federal reimbursements will drive up premium costs and make it harder for insurers to participate in the ACA marketplace in the long run. Had CSR payments not been eliminated, Blue Cross NC’s final rate request for ACA customers’ average would have been near zero…”

“Republicans campaigned on promising to cut rates and increase competition, a promise they’ve since refused to keep,” said NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin. “By attempting to sabotage the ACA, Republicans are shamelessly raising barriers to health insurance, all because they are fighting a losing battle over healthcare in this country.”