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Trump administration freezes Obamacare funds

Trump administration freezes Obamacare funds

The payments work this way: The government takes money from insurers with healthier, low-risk customers, and gives it to insurers with less-healthy, higher-risk customers.

Yet insurers say Congress' decision to gut the "individual mandate" to hold insurance - the main prod for getting healthy people to sign up - forced them to request higher-than-usual rates for 2019.

The move sent shock waves through the insurance industry, which claimed that such market disruption could have near-immediate consequences for insured populations.

"We were disappointed by the court's recent ruling".

"Any action to stop disbursements under the risk adjustment program will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small-business owners, and could result in far fewer health plan choices", said Justine G. Handelman, a senior vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Under the risk adjustment program, insurers with healthier patients pay those with sicker patients. "And costs for taxpayers will rise as the federal government spends more on premium subsidies", the group said.

The Affordable Care Act's (ACA) "risk adjustment" program is meant to incentivize health insurers to cover individuals with pre-existing and chronic conditions by collecting money from insurers with relatively healthy enrollees to offset the costs of other insurers with sicker ones.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has suspended payments to health insurers with a large number of sick Obamacare clients.

For the past five years, when insurance has been available through ACA marketplaces for people who do not have access to affordable health benefits through a job, federal health officials have started every spring working with navigator groups on plans for the coming enrollment season.

Over the weekend arrived some fresh political fury that the Trump Administration is trying to sabotage ObamaCare by suspending something called "risk adjustment" payments.

Many Trump followers often cheer cuts to Obamacare, not knowing that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are one in the same. But another district court in MA upheld the formula. "It will create more market uncertainty and increase premiums for many health plans - putting a heavier burden on small businesses and consumers, and reducing coverage options", AHIP said. Health law experts are... CMS says the New Mexico court's ruling bars "CMS from collecting or making payments under the current methodology, which uses the statewide average premium".

The Trump administration on Monday announced another nail in the coffin of Obamacare, declaring it would withhold the payment of risk-adjusted premiums to insurers. These alternative plans don't have to provide all of the Affordable Care Act's consumer protections.

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