Friday, October 28, 2016

WPRI: HealthSource RI refused to sell 2 low-cost insurance plans

By Ted Nesi and Susan Campbell
Published: October 26, 2016, 4:53 pm  Updated: October 26, 2016, 6:10 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Health insurance premiums on Rhode Island’s Obamacare marketplace will dip slightly next year, but they’d be going down even more if state regulators hadn’t rejected two low-cost options Neighborhood Health Plan wanted to offer...

But HealthSource officials said their decision was driven by the federal formula for premium subsidies, which are provided to about 90% of the Rhode Islanders who buy insurance through the marketplace.

The amount of those premium subsidies – which are technically tax credits – is tied to average costs across all plans in a state’s marketplace. Adding the two low-cost Neighborhood plans “would have the effect of making all of the plans that we offer less affordable,” Sherman said, because it would have pulled down the amount of tax credits provided by the federal government to subsidize every plan.

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