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The Latest: Insurance companies assumed payments' end

CONCORD, N.H. — The Latest on New Hampshire's response to President Donald Trump's decision to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

New Hampshire's insurance commissioner says President Donald Trump's decision to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law won't create further instability in New Hampshire because insurers set rates assuming they'd lose the money.

Commissioner Roger Sevigny says he had hoped the federal government would not end the payments, but the three companies offering plans in New Hampshire's individual markets filed their proposed rates assuming they wouldn't get the payments.

A recent analysis conducted for the insurance department estimated that among the 97,000 people in the state's individual market, 74 per cent who either get federal subsidies or are part of the expanded Medicaid program will likely see their premiums drop or remain flat in 2018. But the 26 per cent who pay the full cost will see increases averaging 52 per cent .

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2:30 p.m.

The Democratic leadership in the New Hampshire legislature is calling on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to protect the state's residents from possible rate increases resulting from President Donald Trump's decision to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law.

House and Senate leaders issued a joint statement Friday demanding that Sununu and the Republican-controlled legislature pass a reinsurance program so that residents whose premiums go up can get some relief.

They are also calling on state Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to sue the Trump administration to protect cost-sharing reductions targeted by the president.

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10:46 a.m.

Several members of New Hampshire's Democratic congressional delegation are criticizing the announcement by President Donald Trump that his administration is going to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law, saying it would only raise rates for millions of Americans.

The Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement Thursday. The White House, in a separate statement, said the government cannot legally continue to pay the so-called cost-sharing subsidies because they lack a formal authorization by Congress.

On Friday, Sen. Maggie Hassan said Trump was "cruelly and intentionally raising health care costs for millions" while Rep. Carol Shea-Porter expressed concern the decision would not only lead to rate hikes for those who buy subsidized insurance but also "millions of Americans who buy their own coverage."

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