One of the most important things Congress needs to do to protect the subsidies for eighteen million Americans is to stabilize those government payments.
Congress, in a bipartisan fashion, is finally getting down to business. This week’s Senate hearings on how to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces was notable for its almost total agreement on solutions.
Making sure the cost-sharing reduction payments are continued is the most critical issue to be addressed to assure market stabilization in 2018. The cost sharing provision in ACA helps low-income enrollees with their copayments and deductibles.
In the Senate hearings, Senators, insurance commissioners, and some Governors are looking for a permanent solution to those payments. It is critical in some states that have only one carrier as an option.
The goal through these hearings is to get payments secured through the end of 2018, almost guaranteeing that insurance will be available in every county. Also, this action could provide an individual premium decrease in the future.
There are some tough timelines to stabilize the market, too. Insurers must sign contracts to participate in HealthCare.gov by Sept. 27, and ACA open enrollment begins Nov. 1. Additionally, due to the Senate parliamentarian, Republicans only have until the end of the month to pass legislation repealing ACA and avoid a Democratic filibuster.
Stay tuned to healthcareexchange.com for more information about the ever changing world of ACA.