Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Outrage from Advocates as the U.S Freezes Funds for Obamacare Payments

Maryland insurers say Trump Administration to cut health payments destabilizes market Health Care Primer: The Sabotage And Retaliation Edition
Samantha Long | 13 July, 2018, 22:59

But here too the insurers have threatened higher premiums, even as the insurers pocket tax-credit subsidies that increase with premiums.

The payments, worth $10.4 billion for 2017, are part of a program in the Affordable Care Act meant to help balance the insurance markets when some insurers inevitably got stuck with sicker, more costly patients. Compare that to agents and brokers who enrolled 42 percent of customers at a cost of just $2.42 per enrollee.

Trump administration officials said they made a decision to suspend payments under the program because of a ruling in February from a Federal District Court in New Mexico.

The issue is expected to be resolved by the end of the year and risk adjustment transfers will be completed "on time or with only minimal delay", she said. "We are very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments", America's Health Insurance Plans said in a statement. "This decision reflects CMS' commitment to put federal dollars for the Federally-facilitated Exchanges to their most cost effective use in order to better support consumers through the enrollment process", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement Tuesday.

A federal judge in D.C. Eligible organizations include small businesses, local chambers of commerce, trade associations, and other community groups.

Obamacare surges on, with the public continuing to approve of it and health insurers coming back to the markets after sitting previous year out. The administration could just as easily have listened to a judge in MA who ruled the opposite way or awaited the results of an appeal.

Here Are the Best (and Worst) States to Retire
The survey heavily weighed cost of living, taxes, health care quality and weather, and took other factors into account, as well. NY was the worst - not a huge surprise given the state's high cost of living, high taxes, and the lower quality of health care.

Citing two conflicting federal court cases on the use of statewide average premiums in its decision, CMS said it can not collect or redistribute funds for risk-adjusted payments.

The Trump White House has been busy separating migrant families and plotting the demise of Roe v. Wade in recent weeks, but don't worry: they haven't forgotten about their quest to make it harder for Americans to obtain adequate health insurance. "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. The insurers have requested average rate increases for 2019 that range from 18.5 percent to 91.4 percent, depending on the type of plan.

Payments and collections of risk adjustment payments and charges were scheduled to begin in August.

The most radical plan drafted by congressional Republicans last year-known as the Graham-Cassidy bill after two of its authors, Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (Louisiana)-would basically eliminate the ACA's private insurance marketplaces as well as Medicaid expansion, replacing them with lower-funded state block grants with few strings attached.

For the past five years, when insurance has been available through ACA marketplaces for people who do not have access to affordable health benefits through a job, federal health officials have started every spring working with navigator groups on plans for the coming enrollment season.

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