Insurance companies anxious over Trump decision on federal subsidies

  • Insurance companies anxious over Trump decision on federal subsidies

Insurance companies anxious over Trump decision on federal subsidies

Bipartisan groups of Republican and Democratic lawmakers are looking for ways to fix problematic parts of the USA health care law, even as President Donald Trump says he wants to let it collapse. That would improve insurers' ability to anticipate future costs, and give them more confidence about staying in the program. I look forward to the opportunity to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and hope to work in an open and transparent process with colleagues in both parties to accomplish that goal.

The relatively arcane payments have become a key flashpoint in Washington's food fight over health care, as Mr. Trump threatens to cut off the money. He can then follow Trump's example of threatening to cut the payments unless Congress does his bidding on some other matter.

And consumers are still likely to see high premium increases for 2018 as insurers plan for the worst. The Obama administration plowed millions into advertising and outreach aimed at persuading young and healthy people to sign up for the program. "The administration could still determine that they don't believe they need to make the payment and will not make the payment".

"The ACA requires insurers to offer plans with reduced patient cost-sharing (e.g., deductibles and copays) to marketplace enrollees with incomes 100-250% of the poverty level". Those tax credits were not part of the suit. "If people are suffering, and they are, and they will continue to suffer because we have not repealed or replaced Obamacare, why shouldn't insurance companies similarly suffer?"

Major compared such a decision to the Obama administration not defending the federal ban on same-sex marriage, called the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

But a parade of prominent Republican Senators including Louisiana's Bill Cassidy, Maine's Susan Collins, Utah's Orrin Hatch, South Dakota's John Thune, and, perhaps most significantly, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee chair Lamar Alexander, have all come out in the past two days to urge Trump to pay the insurer subsidies at least on a short-term basis, arguing that American families would bear the consequences without the payments.

In a recent pair of tweets, Trump threatened to end "bailouts" for insurance companies and members of Congress unless legislators can pass a new health care bill.

Kerpen explains this "put them in the exact same situation as the people, we've since learned, who were most severely financially squeezed by Obamacare: people who don't have employer coverage and make too much money to qualify for subsidies". They lower out-of-pocket costs for about 7 million Americans.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would challenge any attempt to stop the payments, but wouldn't commit to one particular course of action until it was clear what the administration would do. "Additionally, this means the Medicaid expansion will continue as an open-ended government program that can not be sustained".

"There are many issues with the American health care system", Alexander said. "Health Care Service Corp., a huge exchange player in five states, filed for average increases including 8.3% in Oklahoma, 23.6% in Texas, and 16% in IL", the WSJ reports. Many have dropped out of the market, citing losses as claims for medical care exceeded their expectations. They are a cost-sharing measure the federal government uses to help subsidize some co-pays and other insurance costs for people with low incomes covered under the ACA.

Enacting even just a few of these things would go a long way towards helping small businesses access affordable coverage.

"It's a high-anxiety issue for our insurers", she said.

"A significant portion of our rates account for that uncertainty".

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service.