Rates for Obamacare plans in Nevada are leveling off, with only a 0.3-percent-average increase planned for next year.
The mild rate increases are expected despite the undoing of Obamacare's individual mandate, which is rendered ineffective in 2019 because of the tax law that President Trump signed into law late last year. They are also expected despite the Trump administration's actions to allow the sale of plans that fall outside of Obamacare's rules.
“The approved rates for next year are incredibly good news for consumers as the rates have remained consistent for next year," Nevada Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson said in a statement. "This is a very good sign of market stability in Nevada."
Two health insurance companies are offering coverage on the exchange, with prices dropping by an average of 0.4 percent.
Nevadans also have the option of buying the insurance directly through an insurer, four of which are offering plans in the state for 2019. The rates for those plans will decrease by an average of 2 percent.
How much customers pay for coverage through their Obamacare plans will vary based on whether they smoke, how old they are, where they live, and what their income is.
The leveling off in Nevada parallels that observed in most of the U.S., which is seeing an average rate decrease of 2 percent.
Trump and his health chief, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, have championed the plateau in rates as evidence that their actions on Obamacare are yielding positive results. Critics, including Democrats, have pushed back on these assertions, saying that the rates would be even lower if the Trump administration had acted differently. They have repeatedly accused officials of working to "undermine" or "sabotage" Obamacare.
Still, the outcomes are a departure from widespread predictions that insurers would leave the market and that premiums would surge as a result of undoing the individual mandate.
One of the reasons the premiums are tempered is that insurers overshot their rate proposals when they applied to sell plans for this year. This has resulted in more profits, but it also means that when insurers apply in states, they have to provide evidence to officials about the math behind their rates. The latest results suggests that they are getting closer at determining the prices for covering people in the Obamacare market.