AARP Says GOP Health Plan Could Raise Pre-Existing Conditions Premiums to $25,700

Apr 28, 2017

The newest Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could send premiums sky-rocketing to more than $25,000 for people with pre-existing conditions, according to a report from the AARP.

The latest version of the American Health Care Act, which hasn't been scored by the Congressional Budget Office yet, does away with the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing conditions under certain situations. For example, if states set up high-risk pools, they can allow insurers to charge sick people more than healthier people for insurance.

But the pools will do little to help sick people keep costs down: The AARP estimates insurers could charge annual premiums as high as $25,700 for people with pre-existing conditions in the pools in 2019 - and the government's subsidies to the states for these high-risk pools will not be remotely enough to offset the high costs.

As the AARP points out and MONEY has reported, plans offered in high-risk pools before the passage of the ACA were not only incredibly expensive, they also tended to be less comprehensive than coverage on the individual market. So people with pre-existing conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes, would pay significantly more for worse coverage.

This would hit older people especially hard. But young people with any type of health condition would also be impacted if the protections were lifted.

"We really do not want to go backwards in making coverage affordable to the people who need it the most," says Jean Hall, director of the Institute for Health & Disability Policy Studies at the University of Kansas.

The report comes a day after House Speaker Paul Ryan said "people will be better off with pre-existing conditions under our plan."

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