Maps Show A Dramatic Rise Health In Insurance Coverage Under ACA

The insurance industry quickly said the changes, released Thursday evening, don't go far enough.

But, weeks later, it remains unclear whether Republicans will sustain the law or sabotage it. Insurance companies are terrified that Republicans will pull money from subsidies that help Americans pay out-of-pocket health-care costs, subsidies that help keep health-care markets stable. That means Obamacare, in one way or another will survive, perhaps with a different name but too many parts of the law are so popular that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is a losing proposition. So the administration is trying to keep the existing system going temporarily as it pursues a total remake. Insurers say this would allow them to create plans that appeal to more customers, particularly those looking for lower premiums.

A White House spokesman said a final decision on the payments has not yet been made.

President Donald Trump's threat to halt some subsidies for health insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act would threaten coverage for 2,030 La Crosse County residents, according to Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

"The president's comments on stopping the Cost Sharing Reduction payments will increase costs, is a threat to the good health of the American people and a threat to keeping government open", an aide to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told The Hill. Ceci Connolly, president of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, said that if the funds were to go away, the nonprofit insurers that her group represents have said they would either have to make a hard decision about staying in the market at all, or hike premiums anywhere from 7 to 21 percent.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Trump suggested he is willing to cut the federal funding for cost sharing reductions (CSRs), which House Republicans have challenged in a lawsuit. "I don't want people to get hurt", he told the WSJ. Democrats are now demanding that the issue be addressed in a must-pass spending bill due at the end of the month. While opening day would remain the same - November 1 - the final rule closes the marketplace on December 15 instead of at the end of January. "Those improvements include tightening up rules for special enrollment periods, greater flexibility in product and benefit design, and simplified administrative processes".

Consumer groups argue the Trump plan could backfire, because those who tend to wait until the last minute to sign up are actually often the youngest and healthiest - and they may miss the enrollment window if it is shorter. Insurers say loose enforcement of these periods has been an expensive problem because it also allows people to game the system.

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Allowing an insurer to collect past debt for unpaid premiums from the prior 12 months before applying a consumer's payments to a new policy.

If these payments stop, insurers in the individual market will be left without reimbursement for providing lower premiums and deductibles to low-income consumers.

And if you got one of them, then you have to fill out a very complicated separate form to see if the tax credits you got from the government were too much or too little or just the right amount.

The changes come as insurers are figuring out their plans for 2018.

Consumers probably won't know for certain what insurance choices they will have until late summer or early fall, according to the AP.

This year saw premium increases averaging 25 percent for a standard plan in states served by HealthCare.gov.

Under Trump's new regulations, insurers would be given more leeway in the percentage of coverage required, meaning they could cover less.

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