Health costs for some in Massachusetts could jump 26 percent

BOSTON (AP) — Insurance rates for some individuals purchasing plans through the state’s Health Connector could jump by as much as 26 percent for 2018 after President Donald Trump said he would end payments to insurers under a federal cost sharing program.

A spokesman for the state’s health insurance exchange says the higher rates, initially expected to rise by just 8 percent, could be felt by up to 80,000 people during the open enrollment period beginning November 1.

The federal cost sharing program made payments directly to insurers to cover costs for people who obtain insurance through the connector and have incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

The connector estimates the federal government would have paid $146 million in cost sharing in 2018.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has called on Congress to stabilize insurance markets.

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