Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare

Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare

Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare

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.

In listing examples of the kinds of groups eligible to apply for the money that remains, the CMS did not mention the grass-roots nonprofits that have done most of this work.

They are the public face of the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina for legions of residents stumped by the complexities of health insurance.

The law requires most Americans to have health insurance and provides federal financial subsidies for lower- and middle-income applicants who buy individual policies on federal or state exchanges, but the mandate will be phased out next year.

Since efforts in Congress to repeal Obama's signature health care law failed, the Trump administration to pursue administrative changes to chip away at the 2010 law.

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These "association health plans" are just one more facet of Trump's Obamacare sabotage, cheap plans with limited coverage meant to draw healthy people out of the Obamacare markets. Typically, agencies publish proposed rules to allow time for public comment before they go into effect.

Citing two conflicting federal court cases on the use of statewide average premiums in its decision, CMS said it can not collect or redistribute funds for risk-adjusted payments.

"The federal government's decision to suspend payment transfers under the ACA's risk adjustment program could have a significant impact on premiums and place an additional burden on people in the community who can least afford it", CareFirst's president and CEO, Brian Pieninck, said in a statement. "This decision reflects CMS' commitment to put federal dollars for the Federally-facilitated Exchanges to their most cost effective use in order to better support consumers through the enrollment process".

"Investors should read headlines about the delay in risk adjustment payments cautiously", she said. More will lose their insurance this year with this latest attack on the ACA. The administration is also pushing to broaden the definition of short-term insurance, which is also exempted from the ACA's rules.

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group representing insurers offering plans via employers, through government programs and in the individual marketplace, said the CMS suspension would create a "new market disruption" at a "critical time" when insurers are setting premiums for next year. 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.

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But CareFirst and Kaiser could ask to adjust their rates higher given the Trump administration's decision.

A federal judge in D.C. Rate filings by CT health insurers for 2019 are due next week. "There is a need to analyze insurers case-by-case and account for their competitive landscapes", said Tinglong Dai, an associate professor of operations management and business analytics at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.

Payments and collections of risk adjustment payments and charges were scheduled to begin in August.

Technically, the administration has only suspended risk adjustment payments, not permanently ended them.

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