Trump Suspends Obamacare Payments To Insurers

12 July, 2018, 06:24 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Trump Administration Halts Billions In Insurance Payments Under Obamacare

"This action will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small business owners and could result in far fewer health plan choices".

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers programs under the Affordable Care Act, indicated that about $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments are impacted, according to reports. "The decision will have serious consequences for millions of consumers who get their coverage through small businesses or buy coverage on their own", the group said. Under the risk adjustment program, insurers with healthier policyholders contribute money, which is then divvied up among carriers with sicker ones. The payments also were meant to try to prevent insurers from cherry-picking healthier patients to keep costs down.

In February, however, the federal district judge in New Mexico issued a decision voiding the formula used in calculating risk adjustment payments for the 2014-2018 benefit years. Another court in MA had upheld the program in January.

"As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in the agency's statement. "It moves us back to some extent to the status quo where people with pre-existing conditions found it very hard to get insurance".

"Risk adjustment payments" protect companies that insure a disproportionate number of people who need the most expensive health care. About 20 million Americans have received health insurance coverage through the programme.

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The suspension of risk adjustment payments won't matter to people who quality for income-based federal subsidies, which rise along with premium costs. The administration could just as easily have listened to a judge in MA who ruled the opposite way or awaited the results of an appeal.

"Normally you would expect an administration to look for ways to minimize the uncertainty and minimize the effect as these cases play out", he says.

Tell the Republican Congress and administration to quit playing politics with our health. It's bad news, as well, for all Americans who believe that nobody should be priced out of basic health care just to save the rest of us a buck. However, under Obamacare, insurance companies can not charge higher premiums, or even deny coverage, to clients with pre-existing conditions.

Health insurers and Covered California officials are facing another curveball from the Trump administration on the Affordable Care Act that could rattle the insurance market.

President Trump drastically slashed funding for the grassroots groups and nonprofits during his first year in charge of the program - from about $62 million under President Obama to $36 million.

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