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Trump's effect on ACA premiums

Chuck Schumer at a press conference
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Democratic senators conduct a news conference about the Supreme Court nominee's threat to the ACA. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

ACA premiums would probably be going down next year if the Trump administration and congressional Republicans had simply left it alone, Brookings' Matt Fiedler says in a new analysis this morning.

The big picture: Insurers are raking in money this year, largely thanks to the very large premium hikes they enacted. They'll likely see a profit margin north of 10% on their ACA business this year, up from just 1.2% last year and losses in the years before.

  • Fiedler estimated what would happen if the regulatory status quo at the beginning of 2018 had carried over into 2019. In that world, cost-sharing payments would still be gone, but the individual mandate would remain in place and the expansion of short-term plans wouldn't have happened.
  • In that hypothetical policy environment, insurers probably would have reduced their premiums by an average of 4.3% next year, he found.

Premiums are actually falling in a few markets.

  • Louisiana is the latest. ACA premiums in the state will drop by an average of 6.4%, according to The Advocate.
  • Average premiums in Minnesota are also set to decline next year, largely thanks to the state's reinsurance program.
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