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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: May 10, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Statement on Anticipated Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Increases

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statement regarding the double-digit health insurance rate increases Virginians can anticipate as a result of the Trump administration’s actions  to undermine the insurance market.

“I am disappointed that the Trump administration’s active sabotage of the health care system will result in many Virginians and Americans paying more for health coverage. Those policies include a recent announcement encouraging substandard short-term health insurance plans that ultimately result in financial penalties on people with pre-existing conditions.

“It is essential that Virginia’s leaders clearly state our opposition to any policies that seek to undermine the sustainability of the insurance market our citizens depend on for their health and financial stability. But we can also take commonsense, proactive actions right now that will help to ameliorate these rate increases and stabilize the health insurance market for years to come, like expanding Medicaid. Virginians need affordable health coverage and meaningful access to medical care, and we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that happens.”

The Virginia Bureau of Insurance reports that most insurers offering coverage through the individual insurance market will raise rates between 15.0% and 64.3% in the coming year, due to the rising cost of health care but also federal actions or inaction that raise costs and create uncertainty in the insurance markets. One insurer, Optima, will reduce rates between 1.9% and 4.9%.

For more information on changes to health insurance rates in Virginia, please visit

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