Maine’s insurance superintendent has approved double-digit rate increases for 2018 marketplace health insurance plans.

Average rates will increase between about 18 and 27 percent for plans offered by Community Health Options, Anthem, and Harvard Pilgrim. Steve Butterfield of Consumers for Affordable Health Care says higher health care costs as well the uncertainty the Trump administration has created about the future of the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace are to blame.

“I mean this administration seems very intent on destroying the ACA from the inside, and I think insurers are questioning how they can hedge against that risk. And I think the superintendent reflected that in his decisions,” he says.

Insurance rates could rise even more if the Trump administrations discontinues cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers.

“But Congress could help long term by coming back in September, and very quickly passing a bill that funds these cost-sharing reduction reimbursements permanently. And we think they should do that,” Butterfield says.

Maine’s Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa approved rate increases that range from 20 to 37 percent if the cost-sharing payments end.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.