Monday, 16 July, 2018

Heinrich: Trump Administration's Health Care Sabotage Will Increase Premiums For New Mexicans

New Bill Offers Consumers A Way Out From Flawed Obamacare Exchanges Maryland insurers say Trump Administration to cut health payments destabilizes market
Anna Jefferson | 13 July, 2018, 23:00

CMS estimates that ACA navigators that received over $36 million enrolled less than one percent of the consumers that bought a health plan through an FFE. If there is an imbalance of high-risk customers among companies, the government uses a formula to redistribute money from less-burdened companies to more-burdened ones.

The president last fall also issued an executive order to try to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to buy health plans that cost less than ACA coverage because they cover fewer medical services and bypass the law's rules meant to protect people from old insurance practices in which companies had charged higher prices to women, older people, and those with preexisting medical conditions. This decision to freeze billions of dollars of payments to health insurers hurts families in New Mexico and undermines their ability to access affordable health care. CMS officials said they are looking for a quick resolution to the legal issues raised.

"We were disappointed by the court's recent ruling", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. Another federal judge upheld the risk adjustment formula in a separate case filed in MA.

Trump's administration has used its regulatory powers to undermine the ACA on multiple fronts after the Republican-controlled Congress past year failed to repeal and replace the law instituted by Democratic President Barack Obama.

While imperfect, the risk adjustment program "has helped promote market stability over the past five years", Wehrle said. "As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold".

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America's Health Insurance Plans, another large industry group, declined to comment. The administration is also pushing to broaden the definition of short-term insurance, which is also exempted from the ACA's rules.

"So much uncertainty put in the market at this point of time is very unnerving", said Ritu Agarwal, senior associate dean of research at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, who follows the health care system. A spokeswoman for ConnectiCare said the insurer is "monitoring developments" related to risk adjustment payments and plans to file its 2019 small group and individual plan rates next week.

Last month, President Trump announced the Department of Justice (DOJ) was supporting a lawsuit that challenges preexisting conditions protections under Obamacare.

Insurers decried the move, and have been pressing the administration to resolve the issue and resume the payments, arguing that premiums will rise for ObamaCare enrollees if funding is cut off. Rate filings by CT health insurers for 2019 are due next week. "ORCRP001017-topic.html" class="local_link" >Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp., referred to the AHIP statement when asked about the impact of the federal payment interruption. "It is important to keep in mind that the original risk adjustment payments are budget-neutral such that for some insurers to win, other insurers have to lose". If that doesn't happen, some insurers may need to boost their premiums for 2019, she said.

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