Godfread: Withholding federal ACA payments may mean higher health insurance premiums

Aug 12, 2017

03054 CSR payments                                             8-11-17 ddt

North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner said health insurance companies are wondering if the “CSR” payments from the federal government will continue.

“CSR” stands for “Cost Sharing Reductions.” It’s part of the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies get direct payments to help low-income people cover the costs of co-insurance and deductibles.

President Trump has threatened to withhold those payments, after attempts to repeal and replace the ACA have failed.

"It's our stance that those CSRs should be continued, to help provide some stability to our marketplace until we can implement whatever changes Congress will make," said Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread.

Godfread said insurance companies have built their rates on the assumption they will get those CSR payments.

"To now kinda pull out the rug from under them makes it tough to plan," Godfread said. "It makes it touugh to say what 2018 is going to look like."

Godfread said without those payments, insurance rates could go up 12 to 15 percent just on the cost shares alone.  He said the three health insurance companies in North Dakota – Sanford, Blue Cross and Medica – have already submitted their rates for the upcoming year – but Godfread said he’s now asking them for more information about what would happen if the CSR payments go away.