Proposed ACA Changes Aim to Quell Health Insurers' Fears

Gregory A. Freeman, February 17, 2017

The Trump administration's first move on Obamacare would shorten health plan enrollment periods and beef up pre-enrollment eligibility verification.

The White House may be moving too slowly for some supporters on its promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, but under pressure from payers, it is taking interim steps to calm an increasingly unstable healthcare insurance market.

With large players such as UnitedHealthcare and Humana pulling out or vowing to exit the marketplace, the Trump administration's first alteration of the Affordable Care Act is meant to shore up the failing market until more significant changes are made.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposed rule for 2018 that would make changes to

  • Special enrollment periods
  • The annual open enrollment period
  • Guaranteed availability
  • Network adequacy rules
  • Essential community providers
  • Actuarial value requirements

The proposal also announces upcoming changes to the qualified health plan certification timeline. CMS calls the proposed changes "critical to stabilizing the individual and small group health insurance markets to help protect patients."

The move comes a day after Humana, one of the nation's largest health insurers, announced that it will stop selling Obamacare health plans next year, citing mounting losses caused by overutilization.  

Gregory A. Freeman

Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer.

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