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Insurers say Trump must do more to stabilize 'Obamacare'

18 April, 2017, 01:54 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Insurers Call on Trump to Stabilize 'Obamacare'

Congress may not know what to do about former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, but Montana lawmakers are pushing through legislation they believe will bring down health care costs and increase price transparency regardless of what happens in Washington. In previous years, they had twice that much time, and could still buy coverage until January 31.

"The stability and competitiveness of the Exchanges, as well as that of the individual and small group markets in general, have recently been threatened by issuer exits and increasing rates in many geographic areas", the new regulation reads.

That doesn't calm the nerves of health insurance company officials, however. The same people who wanted to kill Obama Care did not understand until the push was on that it was the plan that saved them, yes that dreaded, Obama who dared to become President, had kept some of them on the only insurance they have ever been able to get.

"For some people, the hassle or difficulty in pulling together verification could discourage them from signing up altogether", said Larry Levitt, a health insurance expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care issues.

Republicans have called for returning more regulatory power over health-care policies to states, and the rule takes the first move in that direction by deferring to states to set rules regarding the adequacy of provider networks for exchange plans. The government pays the insurance companies extra - $7 billion previous year - to offer plans with discounts on the usual deductibles and co-payments that might make medical care unaffordable for relatively poor consumers.

Still, health plans say the rule is a first step at addressing the concern of sicker people flooding the marketplace to pick up insurance for the sole goal of covering expensive services and then dropping coverage. Additionally, the deadline falls around the holidays, when money and time are often tight, which could have a chilling effect on insurance sign-ups.

-Curbs on "special enrollment periods" that allow consumers to sign up outside the normal open enrollment window.

Thanks to Perry on health care stand
Meadows told USA Today he planned to deliver a plan that kept language requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. Worse, this week it was reported that Trump is officially putting tax reform on hold to give health care another go .

Insurers say "gaming the system" has created an unprofitable mix of healthy and sick customers.

Promote Continuous Coverage: The final rule promotes personal responsibility by allowing issuers to require individuals to pay back past due premiums before enrolling into a plan with the same issuer the following year.

Under the new rule, 100 percent of those applications would be required to undergo preapproval verification - beginning in June 2017. In addition, requiring everyone claiming eligibility for a special enrollment period to prove (rather than certify) their eligibility will make it more hard for people to enroll. "It didn't work at keeping premiums down for everybody and it didn't really provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions". It's basically three groups of people. Particularly hard-hit would be couples who were uninsured previously because they could not afford health insurance as singles or could not get it under their state's Medicaid rules. This was a big point of debate when Congress was writing the health law.

"CMS is committed to ensuring access to high quality affordable healthcare for all Americans and these actions are necessary to increase patient choices and to lower premiums", said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Giving insurers greater flexibility to create low-premium plans that would appeal to healthy young adults. "And I thought to myself, 'Well, that sounds like a pretty darned expensive date night, ' knowing what it costs to move a president around", Fitton says. But adjusting the law in this way could raise deductibles and other cost-sharing requirements, which consumers may dislike even more.

"The insurance industry hires so many people with the explicit mandate to deny people care", Song tells Scheer.

Daria Cross of Redlands, Calif., was one of more than seven million people who this year took advantage of the reductions, and said they have been a lifesaver for her family.


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