Obamacare Rates Unlikely To Decrease In 2018 Says U. Health Plans CEO | KUER 90.1

Obamacare Rates Unlikely To Decrease In 2018 Says U. Health Plans CEO

Oct 20, 2017

The beginning of the 2018 enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will happen Nov. 1. It comes after a series of changes to the sign-up period.

2018 will have two insurers in Utah offering plans on Obamacare. This year, the sign-up period is half as long as it used to be. The Trump Administration also cut the advertising budget for the sign-up period by 90 percent.

"We’re trying to fill the vacuum a little. We want to make sure that the consumers are educated as they move into the open enrollment period. They really have to understand the choices that they have," says Chad Westover, CEO of University of Utah Health Plans.

They’re expanding from the Wasatch Front to all of Utah’s 29 counties next year. That’s after Molina Healthcare announced they’re pulling out of the exchanges.

Westover says rates for their plans will increase by an average of 31 percent. There’s new legislation being proposed in Washington that could bring back the subsidies that lower Obamacare premiums but, he says, after people start signing up it’ll be difficult for insurers to adjust what they’ll be charging.

"If people start enrolling and after they enroll, or after they’re mid-year through the 2018 plan year, that’s going to be very difficult to make changes after that fact." 

Select Health will also be offering Obamacare plans in Utah next year.