Trump adds more confusion to Obamacare

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Trump Administration To Stop Paying Some Obamacare Bills

Some of Blue Cross Blue Shield's biggest affiliated insurers would be the hardest hit by the Trump administration's decision to freeze more than $10 billion in risk adjustment payments.

So the suspension of risk adjustment payments could throw the rate-filing process into chaos, said Cynthia Fox, director of health reform and private insurance at Kaiser Family Foundation.

"I think alone it will have a very small impact on enrollment for 2019", said William Hoagland, a senior vice president with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

In its announcement, the CMS reprised arguments it made past year that navigators, which operate with the annual grants in the 34 states that rely on the ACA's federal insurance exchange, have been ineffective and are less important than they once were: "As the exchange has grown in visibility and become more familiar to Americans seeking health insurance, the need for federally funded navigators has diminished". These limited benefit plans will compete directly with the comprehensive insurance on the exchanges, and navigators will be forced to sell consumers on them.

Over the weekend, the Trump administration said it will suspend an ACA program that moves funds to insurers with sicker customers.

The navigators, Fann added, were needed more in 2013 and 2014 when the marketplaces were in their first years and millions of people who hadn't bought insurance before were considering the health law's new options.

But as the ACA's sixth open-enrollment period under the health law approaches in November, the lack of in-person assistance is unlikely to be a disaster for people seeking coverage, insurance and health experts say. The payments encouraged health insurers to enroll more consumers in plans and offered some financial help to cover the costs of individuals with higher medical care.

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She noted it is the latest action by the administration of President Donald J. Trump, which has weakened the landmark law that expanded healthcare for many more Americans.

Obamacare surges on, with the public continuing to approve of it and health insurers coming back to the markets after sitting past year out. Almost 9 in 10 people buying coverage on the ACA exchanges qualify for federal subsidies based on their incomes, and the amount those subsidies rose a year ago because of an increase in silver-plan premiums.

But at the same time, Verma would not say if the administration plans to stop approving state Medicaid work requirement waivers. "We see, in all these various places we're in, that people want the product we have".

"Let ObamaCare implode, then deal", Trump tweeted on July 28, 2017.

Trump administration officials said they were forced to make the cuts after a federal court in New Mexico ruled in February that the formula for calculating risk adjustment could not use a statewide average premium.

The plan would replace federal payments to insurance companies with block grants to states, allowing states to "innovate" by providing low-cost, low-benefit plans. "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. She's hoping to land a full-time job with health insurance before she has to renew her coverage. They also help consumers file appeals with insurers.

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