Alexander: Tennesseans Buying Insurance Without Subsidies This Year Have Highest Premium Increase in the Nation

As open enrollment begins, says his bipartisan bill will give people back some of their 2018 premium increases, lower premiums in 2019

WASHINGTON, November 1, 2017 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today, as open enrollment begins, his bipartisan bill will help the hardworking Tennesseans who are “getting hammered” because they buy insurance in the individual health insurance market and don’t get a government subsidy to help them.  These are the people who will have the highest percentage increase in premiums for HealthCare.gov states nationwide.


“Under the Alexander-Murray plan, if you’re one of the roughly 150,000 Tennesseans getting hammered in the individual health insurance market without a government subsidy, you’ll get money back next year,” Alexander said. “Without Alexander-Murray, you’ll get up to an average 58 percent increase in your premium.”


Alexander continued, “Our proposal helps the Tennesseans who are really getting hammered – those without subsidies. Their premiums have already gone up as much as 176 percent in the last four years. During 2018, their premiums will have increased from $161 a month for a typical plan in 2014, to more than $610 a month next year. Because of these skyrocketing premiums, too many Tennesseans find themselves without a way to purchase health insurance.


“Additionally, Tennesseans are seeing their plans disappear – Tennesseans had an average of 59 health plans to choose from when the exchanges opened in 2014, but will have just six in 2018. Our bill gives states more flexibility through state innovation waivers to approve different kinds of health plans, so people would have more choices and lower prices.”


Background on Alexander-Murray Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017


Earlier this month, Alexander, who chairs the Senate’s health committee, and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released legislation – cosponsored by 24 senators -- to stabilize premiums and access to insurance in the individual health insurance markets. The bipartisan bill permanently amends the Affordable Care Act to give new flexibility for states to create insurance policies that have a larger variety of designs and lower costs, and it continues the cost-sharing reduction payments during 2018 and 2019.


Alexander has said the legislation is the “first step to avoiding chaos that could occur during 2018 and 2019 if premiums continue to skyrocket and millions of Americans find themselves without a way to purchase insurance.”




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