Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Health care premiums could rise following Trump administration's

Health care premiums could rise following Trump administration's

The funding will be cut from $36 million in 2017 to $10 million this year, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said in a statement. An HHS official tells us on background that the agency thinks it has resolved the procedural issue for 2019, and so the issue is the payments for previous years based on the invalidated formula.

The court's ruling bars the agency from collecting or making payments under the current methodology, which uses a statewide average premium, said CMS, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. "As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said. The government collects the money from health insurers with relatively healthy enrollees, who cost less to insure. The CMS makes risk-adjustment payments to insurers to help encourage them to participate in the marketplace and offset the costs of enrolling more expensive - high risk - people in insurance pools.

Some health care experts, however, believe that risk adjustment has caused more damage than good and needs urgent fixing.

"Risk adjustment under the ACA has been an example of a well-meaning regulation that has had destructive impacts directly contrary to its intent", Jonathan Halvorson, a health care public policy adviser at consulting firm Sachs Policy Group, stated in an article for The Health Care Blog. The move brought a sharp response from health insurers warning of market disruptions and higher costs.

The administration is taking legal steps to challenge the ruling in New Mexico, says Levitt.

The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthcare law, saying that a recent federal court ruling prevents the money from being disbursed.

Trump's strained visit with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation , meeting with Putin
And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security. The hint of US withdrawal from Europe, while unlikely, indeed seems to have made many countries hike their defense spending.

"People spin the administration's decision as Trump trying to do harm, but it's exactly the opposite", he added. "That will increase competition, and competition will help keep prices down".

"The decision will have serious consequences for millions of consumers who get their coverage through small businesses or buy coverage on their own", the group said.

But supporters of the ACA criticized the CMS announcement as the latest move by the Trump administration to undermine Obamacare. Those subsidies rise with premiums.

"We urge the Trump administration to back off of this unsafe and destabilizing plan, and instead begin working on bipartisan solutions to make coverage more affordable", said Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Protect Our Care, a progressive group that supports Obamacare. On the same day, Minuteman Health, Inc. filed a similar complaint in district court in MA.

A federal court in MA upheld the same allocation formula in January.

The decision comes after a March 2018 court ruling that found the formula for calculating risk adjustment payments was "arbitrary and capricious".

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