On October 11, the Trump administration announced that the average premium for Obamacare plans on the Federal exchange will drop by 1.5 percent in 2019. This marks the first time average premiums have fallen since Obamacare took effect in 2014.
“It is a dramatic and very positive change from the double-digit increases experienced over the past two years,” said Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Many states will see rates drop more substantially—the biggest drop will be in Tennessee, where premiums will fall by 26 percent, according to the White House.
Along with lower average individual market premiums, Americans will also see greater insurance participation in 2019 compared to previous years. CMS reports there will be 23 new carriers in 2019, and 29 insurers will be expanding their service areas into more counties. Four states will have only one insurer in 2019, compared to ten in 2018.
President Trump has used his executive authority to reduce barriers to more affordable options for Americans and US businesses, and is continuing his mission to improve healthcare for Americans by expanding coverage options and lowering drug costs. The president has released a blueprint to drive down prescription drug prices, seeking to encourage American innovation while promoting better price competition and addressing foreign freeloading. As a result, 15 drug manufacturers have announced price reductions and rollbacks. Trump’s plan also pursues feedback on other potential courses of action, including ending Obamacare’s Medicaid rebate cap, which encourages higher drug prices, and requiring Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to act in the best interests of patients rather than the PBM’s profits.
The Trump administration has also increased health care options for American consumers through expanded short-term, limited-duration insurance plans—which, according to the White House, are projected to be 50 to 80 percent more affordable than Obamacare plans— and expanded Association Health Plans, which allow employers to offer more affordable coverage to workers.
After years of Obamacare hurting American families, workers, and small businesses with skyrocketing costs, President Trump’s policies are improving insurance markets, lowering premiums, and resolving the chaos surrounding the health care system in our country. Since taking office, the president has been working closely with states to ease the burden placed on hard-working Americans by the failures of Obamacare. Through their continuing work, the Trump administration is putting health care decisions back into the hands of patients—where they belong.