Healthcare Rate Increases: Guidance from Pennsylvania on What to Expect

At this moment, Pennsylvania has a fully functional Healthcare Marketplace.ben_franklin

  • All five of the insurers in the PA market have said they will stay in the market for 2018
  • Assuming the requirement for coverage and Federal subsidies stay in place, the insurers have asked for an average rate increase of 8.8% for 2018.

The requested increase in PA is much lower than the requests in every other state. In some, like Connecticut and Virginia, insurers have requested increases of more than 50% due to uncertainty about what Trump will do.

Insurers have said that the rate increase in PA would rise from the requested 8.8% to

  • 23.3% if the individual mandate is repealed (the requirement that individuals have insurance)
  • 20.3% if Federal subsidies are terminated or
  • 36.3% if both take place.

According to a spokesperson

“This proves what we already know—instability caused by adverse action from the federal government will do nothing but hurt consumers who are stuck in the middle,” Miller said. Enrollees “deserve single-digit rate increases like the ones most people will see if Congress and the Trump Administration choose not to risk consumers’ health and financial well-being by jeopardizing the stability of these markets.” (1)

Given other recent actions, it’s probably best to assume that the administration will drive health insurance costs much higher and budget accordingly. The increase of 36.5% in PA and more in other states is the most likely outcome at this time.

The relative calm in Pennsylvania also points to how much of the health insurance chaos is due to state level politics. Other states have health insurance marketplaces that are much less functional, and their residents are seeing much higher rate increases.

Old Ben would be proud of  his state.


  1. Shelby Livingston, “Pennsylvania insurers buck trend for giant rate hikes with single-digit bump request,” Modern Healthcare, 1 June 2017.

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