The Importance Of Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs) For Affordability

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on April 7, 2017

Cost-sharing reduction (CSR) benefits make health coverage more affordable for individuals and families purchasing coverage through the Exchanges. Ending CSRs would cause premiums to increase dramatically.

By how much? 19 percent.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, the average premium for a benchmark silver plan would have to increase by about 19 percent without cost-sharing reduction payments. To see why CSRs are essential to market stability in 2018, look at the KFF chart below:


Cost-sharing reduction payments reimburse health plans for lowering out-of-pocket costs – like co-payments and deductibles – for low-income consumers. CSRs give consumers important financial protection: Combined medical and prescription drug deductibles drop by up to $3,354 and annual out-of-pocket maximums are $5,587 lower, according to KFF.

Roughly 6.4 million Americans depend on these benefits to access health coverage, and their elimination would make it nearly impossible for low-income people to afford needed health care.

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