President Donald Trump’s latest efforts to dismantle Obamacare are not expected to have an immediate impact on South Carolina’s individual insurance market.
According to a spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Insurance, the state asked its lone marketplace provider, BlueCross BlueShield, to set its rates for 2018 under the assumption that it would not receive federal subsidies.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would no longer provide cost-sharing reduction payments because Congress had not designated money for the subsidies, as required by law.
The South Carolina Department of Insurance approved substantial rate increases for BlueCross BlueShield. On average, customers will be paying 31 percent more.
The insurance company says 82 percent of its exchange members will see a $10 increase or less because of individual subsidies.
A spokesperson for BlueCross BlueShield released the following statement:
“Our message to our existing customers and those who are exploring purchasing health insurance through the exchange is that, at this time, nothing has changed. We planned for this possibility. It was factored into our rates. We encourage people to visit our website, and/or our retail centers, or talk with insurance agents in their communities to ensure that they have all the information they need to make good decisions for themselves. ”
The Department of Insurance continues to have regular discussions with BlueCross BlueShield amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act.