White House Says Insurers Will Be Paid For Key Subsidies This Month
Republicans have objected to the health law's cost-sharing reduction payments, saying Congress did not approve the money. But supporters of the health law say they are vital to the insurance marketplaces. News outlets also take stock of other developments in the insurance markets.
ObamaCare Payments To Continue
Key ObamaCare subsidies to insurers will be paid this month, the White House confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday, one day before the deadline to make July's cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. The administration has not made a commitment beyond this month.The payments help low-income people afford the co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs associated with health insurance policies. Insurers have called the payments critical, saying that without them, they would have to massively increase premiums or exit the individual market. (Weixel, 7/19)
As Obamacare Stays – For Now – Health Insurance Companies Look Elsewhere For Profits
You might expect that health insurance companies have been holding their breath, waiting to see what’s next. But it turns out many of the larger insurers don’t make much of their money selling insurance in the individual market. (Gorenstein, 7/19)
The GOP Failed To Replace The ACA. Can Congress Fix What’s Wrong?
With Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare all but dead for the foreseeable future, attention has returned to the state of the Affordable Care Act, which is in limbo. While Republicans like to say the law is collapsing, the reality is far more complicated. Four years after it began offering coverage, Obamacare provides insurance to about 12 million people through private policies purchased on exchanges. Although the system is working as intended in many parts of the country, some insurance marketplaces are beset by serious problems, with insurers raising premiums or pulling out altogether. (Tracer and Recht, 7/20)
The Associated Press:
Q&A: How Trump Could Help Sink Obama Health Law
Health insurance markets created by the Affordable Care Act may not be on the verge of collapse, but President Donald Trump could nudge them in that direction by following through on his plan to let the Obama-era law fail. (Murphy, 7/19)
And in state news —
New Hampshire Public Radio:
Facing Obamacare Rate Hikes, Insurance Department Wants To Create A 'Reinsurance Program'
The New Hampshire Insurance Department is seeking a federal waiver aimed at lowering the price of health insurance for next year’s Obamacare plans, but Governor Chris Sununu opposes part of the Department’s idea for how to do it. ... In (very) simplified terms, a reinsurance program creates a pool of money that would then be used to reimburse insurance companies when their policyholders need extremely high-priced medical care. (Bookman, 7/20)
Tennessee's Insurance Chief Presses Senate For Action In Wake Of Fizzled Repeal Bill
Tennessee's insurance commissioner is using her platform as the president-elect of a national insurance agency to urge the U.S. Senate to take quick action to make sure the individual insurance market does not crumble under the pressure of uncertain political reform. In particular, Julie Mix McPeak is calling on lawmakers to fund a subsidy known as cost-sharing reductions (CSR) through 2019 and allocate $15 billion for programs to offset costs associated with high-risk enrollees. McPeak outlined the proposed measures Wednesday in a letter to Senate leaders from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, of which she is president-elect. (Fletcher, 7/19)
Senate Health Care Chaos Creates Anxiety In Georgia
Capitol Hill’s health care heartburn has made its way to Georgia, where local stakeholders have been left anxious, confused and evaluating their own next steps after the Senate GOP’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare came to a screeching halt. Local insurance companies urged Congress for action and certainty — and to do it quickly. (Hallerman, 7/19)