Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trump health officials propose rule to shore up Affordable Care Act marketplaces

The Washington Post reports:
Federal health officials on Wednesday issued a series of proposed rule changes intended to help protect insurers and to shore up Affordable Care Act marketplaces in the short term while Republicans work on demolishing the law.

The new rule — the first move by the Trump administration to alter regulations for the ACA — would make it harder for consumers to buy health coverage outside of the law’s regular enrollment periods, give insurers power to deny new coverage to people late in paying their premiums and create more rigorous checks of applicants’ eligibility.

At the same time, the changes would eliminate federal reviews of whether health plans in the ACA marketplaces have enough doctors and other providers of care, a task the states would instead handle. And by lowering how much insurers must pick up for a specific benefit package, the changes would allow them to sell plans with higher deductibles.

The proposed rule represents the first steps by the Department of Health and Human Services since President Trump issued an executive order, just hours after his Jan. 20 inauguration, that gave federal agencies broad authority to lighten the burden of carrying out the 2010 law that he and congressional Republicans are determined to repeal.
Tightening the noose around ObamaCare.