Alexander on 2019 Tennessee Health Insurance Rates: A Welcome Step After 176% Increase Since Obamacare Took Effect

Posted on July 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018 — Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement on the announcement that insurance companies in Tennessee requested lower health insurance premiums on average for the 2019 plan year, after an increase of over 176% since the Obamacare exchanges opened in 2014, and that two additional insurance companies will begin selling health insurance next year in Tennessee:

“Today’s news is a welcome step for Tennesseans after facing an over 176 percent increase in health insurance premiums since Obamacare took effect, but the news could have been even better. Since Democrats in Congress have elevated Obamacare to the 67th book of the Bible, and have blocked even minor changes to the law that could have lowered rates by up to 40 percent, it is up to the states and the administration to continue to help lower premiums. I congratulate Commissioner McPeak’s efforts to bring more choices and lower prices to Tennessee, and will continue working with the Administration as best as I can on ways to give states greater flexibility to lower premiums.”

Background:

As of July 11, 2018, health insurance providers in Tennessee have submitted their proposed rates for 2019 to the Tennessee Commissioner of Insurance. Two of the three returning carriers from last year requested rate decreases. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest carrier, requested a 10.9% rate decrease, Cigna requested a 4.8% decrease, and Oscar requested a 10.8% increase. Bright Health and Celtic announced that they will begin selling health insurance in Tennessee.

Prior to this announcement, rates in Tennessee had risen over 176 percent since the Obamacare exchanges opened in 2014. Last year, every Democrat voted against repealing and replacing Obamacare which would have given Americans more choices of insurance at lower cost. This year, Democrats blocked a proposal that President Trump and Republicans offered to enact that experts at Oliver Wyman health consulting firm said would lower premiums by up to 40 percent over three years

Number of carriers in Tennessee’s individual health insurance market by year:

2012—23

2013—18

2014—8

2015—9

2016—11

2017—6

2018—3

2019—5

 

###