In the next few days and weeks we’ll see the first wave of reactions from health plans – and unsubsidized Affordable Care Act exchange shoppers, because of premium increases – to President Trump’s decision to cut off immediately the cost-sharing subsidies to health plans participating in the exchanges.
The Trump administration dealt a one-two punch to the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. Trump’s executive order would give Americans the option of buying lower-cost health insurance, but also could usher back the bare-bones insurance options that the Affordable Care Act was designed to eliminate.
In addition, Trump directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to end the cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) to health insurers required under the ACA effective immediately. The payments always have been controversial, and the Trump administration, in justifying its action, noted that House Republicans earlier successfully challenged them in court. Continue reading
In a report that aligns with predictions by health insurers and groups such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday forecast that ending cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies under the Affordable Care Act not only would raise premiums for some low-income Americans, but also increase the federal deficit by $194 billion by 2026.
Congressional Democrats had asked both the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation to estimate the effect of cutting CSRs after this December – as President Trump has threatened – on the federal budget, health insurance coverage, market stability and premiums. Continue reading
The Affordable Care Act last week survived yet another near-death experience – but the story isn’t over.
What’s next, though, is not yet clear. Here are a few possibilities, with the caveat that so much is in flux anything can happen: Continue reading
Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance regulation in the individual market largely was managed by the states. The ACA saw a shift to a greater federal role. Now under the Trump administration, some responsibilities are going back to the states.
In a new tip sheet for AHCJ, Louise Norris, whom many AHCJ members know as a contributor to healthinsurance.org, explains the new responsibilities. One significant area is network adequacy – whether a plan has enough doctors, hospitals and other providers to meet the needs of beneficiaries. Continue reading