The Trump administration this week issued the rules governing next year’s Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces, and they make some potentially large changes that could result in higher premiums and fewer benefits.
Meanwhile, states are going different ways in addressing the health insurance markets in their states in response to the federal activity. And House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement — leaving an intellectual void among House Republicans when it comes to health care.
This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are:
- Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News
- Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal
- Sarah Kliff of Vox.com
- Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post
Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:
- The federal rules for the ACA’s marketplaces could dramatically alter how state regulators determine what plan benefits must be covered.
- Those rules also change some conditions allowing people to qualify for exemptions to the requirement to have coverage — and they make those exemptions retroactive to 2017. So, some people who opted not to buy insurance and paid a penalty for 2017 may be able to file for refunds from the government.
- Insurance companies are concerned about a number of the new provisions, including those that might drive healthy consumers away from the marketplaces and alter how insurers are compensated for having unusually high numbers of expensive customers.
- An announcement from the White House this week said the administration is hoping to extend the work requirements that some states are seeking for Medicaid to other safety-net programs.
- California and Maryland are among the states looking at ways to shore up their individual insurance markets in light of the changes being made at the federal level.