NCMS Statement on Trump’s Latest Health Policy Decisions

capitol-buildingThis week President Trump issued two health policy directives that will likely affect how some of your patients are insured.  The first was an Executive Order signed Wednesday night that begins the process of expanding several insurance options for employers and employees. This order simply instructs various federal departments to begin the process of considering and drafting new regulations. Get the details on the Executive Order.  

In his second action, which will have a more immediate impact on the insurance market and your patients, Trump announced late Thursday that his administration would stop paying the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies to insurance companies. These insurers are required to provide reduced-price deductibles for lower income patients receiving coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace. To put the impact of this change in context, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation as of February 2017, the number of people with household income between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level and receiving cost sharing reductions in North Carolina, is 300,255. Learn more about the Foundation’s numbers.

Repeated Administration threats to stop these payments and delays in Congressional efforts to specifically authorize and fund the CSRs prompted many insurers to increase their 2018 Marketplace premiums to offset the potential loss of these funds, so the number of plans that will decide to withdraw from the ACA Marketplace is not yet known.

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) remains steadfast in its support of greater access to affordable health care for the citizens of North Carolina. Removing these subsidies will likely raise the cost of insurance coverage prompting many to forego needed care. While we understand the financial burden these subsidies place on the Federal government, and that current health care costs are unsustainable, we endorse bipartisan efforts to address the weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act while providing a gradual transition to any new plan. We seek a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to improved access to our health care system.

 Watch for updates and further analysis of this news in Wednesday’s NCMS Bulletin.

This Raleigh News & Observer article, published Friday afternoon (10-13-17) outlines what this latest federal move means for the Marketplace insurers in North Carolina.

 

 
 

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