Cuomo tells regulators to deny insurance rate hikes

Jul 31, 2018

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has ordered his Department of Financial Services to reject requests by health insurance companies to raise rates in response to actions by the Trump administration to weaken the Affordable Care Act.

Cuomo said health insurance carriers have asked for an average of a 24 percent rate increase in response to the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the individual mandate under the ACA. That provision required healthy people to buy insurance in order to stabilize rates for all policyholders.

Cuomo, who is accusing the insurance companies of trying to reap a “windfall profit,” said the rate requests would result in an average $1,500 policy increase. And he said it could jeopardize New York’s efforts to bring the rate of uninsured New Yorkers down to 5 percent.

“Today I am directing the DFS superintendent to reject any rate increase attributed to Trump's threatened effect of the loss of the individual mandate participation,” Cuomo said. “Insurance premiums must be based on actual cost and not political manipulations. We're not going to allow Trump to tear down our health care system. We've come too far. We're not going back.”

The insurers asking for the premium increase say that with fewer healthy people in the pool, their costs will go up.