Insurers say Trump must do more to stabilize 'Obamacare'

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The Trump administration has indicated that the payments will continue as long as the case is being litigated, but insurers want more of an assurance that these subsidies will be available next year.

The health law uses a complex formula to divide plans into metallic tiers - bronze, silver, gold and platinum - based on an average percentage of a typical year's health care bills that each level of plan covers.

Open enrollment for 2018 coverage will run from November 1 until December 15 of this year, half the time period that open enrollment has been offered since the launch of HealthCare.gov. CMS says the changes would allow people to have coverage for the entirety of 2018 and reduce the chance of "adverse selection", when people only buy insurance in the second half of the sign-up period if they learn they're sick.

One big problem in boosting enrollment has been that many potential consumers - particularly younger, healthier ones - say premiums are too high.

Force people to provide further identification to sign up outside of the open enrollment period: In order to limit the number of people that drop coverage and only enroll when they need it, the CMS rule would force people to give more identification in order to sign up for the exchanges outside of open enrollment. "It's exploding right now", President Donald Trump said. I don't want people to get hurt... They're separate from the better-known premium subsidies that most customers receive. To encourage people to pay their insurance premiums, the rules require people to make up for missed payments before buying a new insurance plan, if they're purchasing coverage from the same company they had in the past. The continuing uncertainty over how the Trump administration will manage the markets has unnerved insurers, contributing to decisions by several to announce that they won't offer plans next year. The specific issue that insurers and the president are focused on at the moment are cost-sharing reductions, payments to health insurers that help reduce the deductibles and co-pays for 7 million Americans.

The Trump administration released limited fixes Thursday for shaky health insurance markets, even as it reaffirmed its goal of dismantling the Obama-era law that created them and now covers millions.

In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, Trump raised the possibility of shutting off the money if Democrats won't bargain on health care.

The changes, which take effect later this year, include a shortened open enrollment period for PPACA plans.

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The new rules also let insurers apply premium payments to a plan member's "outstanding debt" from previously unpaid premiums owed to the same insurer.

Consumers likely won't know for certain what sort of choices they will have until late summer or early fall, a couple of months before open enrollment begins.

This year saw premium increases averaging 25 percent for a standard plan in states served by HealthCare.gov. Some insurers say they've lost hundreds of millions of dollars, and many have pulled back or are considering it. Companies are considering leaving more markets for next year because they say they are losing money.

The unusual ploy has caused concern among insurers, hospitals and other groups, who say individual premiums could rise almost 20 percent and insurers might exit the marketplace if they don't get the money.

Dave Dillion of the Society of Actuaries said growth in underlying medical expenses could drive coverage prices up another 10 percent or more.

And Frederick Isasi, executive director of consumer group Families USA, said the regulation was unnecessary since the Congressional Budget Office and other analyses have said the individual market was stable and would remain so for the foreseeable future.

In Washington, Republicans are trying to resolve an impasse between hard-liners and moderates that has prevented them from getting their own health care bill through the House.

The cost-sharing subsidies were defended by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who said they should be paid because the government made a commitment to insurers. A U.S. District Court judge found that Congress did not specifically authorize the payments, making the expenditure unconstitutional.

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