Is Trump Adding a 19% Surcharge to Health Plans?

There is a talking point that says “Trump is adding a 19% surcharge” to plans. This isn’t fully true. Instead, Trump has threatened not to fund cost-sharing reduction subsidies.

The threat not to reimburse insurers for “CSR” subsidies (something the GOP has done in the past) is causing instability in the markets because insurers have to have their plans priced out early. They thus have to assume the worst when they price their plans; customers will eat the costs.

This is estimated to result in plans being 19% higher (and some as high as 40%).[1]

So, plans will likely cost 19% more on average, and it will be (in this case) a result of Trump’s administration creating an uncertain market. However, there is no 19% surcharge.

OPINION: The above is fact. With this information in mind, we can understand why some liberals charge Republicans with “trying to break ObamaCare” and push the death spiral narrative as their actions often are the root of price hikes.

Specifically, according to former Medicaid and Medicare chief Andy Slavitt, the claim is that an uncertainty surcharge will be “baked into” insurers’ premium requests. Mr. Slavitt calls this a “Trump surcharge” and estimates it at about 19%.”

Article Citations
  1. Trump effect on health care: NC’s most popular plan sees 40-percent increase in deductible, out-of-pocket max

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of,, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. is a...

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Thank you for informative and accurate web site. As a former faculty who taught health policy it is refreshing to see that this site continues to be available during this difficult time as Congress again “plays” with the health care benefits of our citizens.
Just wish more folks would read the site and accept that you have great factual information.

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