In the Health Reform Update for this week, the Trump Administration refuses to defend a multistate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the pre-existing condition protections and individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Medicare Trustees warn that the 2019 repeal of the tax penalty for the individual mandate will speed up Medicare’s insolvency by three years (to 2026). A federal appeals court rejects efforts by insurers to recover outstanding reimbursement they are owed from ACA’s risk corridor program that expired after 2016.
A state court orders the Maine governor to immediately implement the Medicaid expansion mandated by last fall’s voter referendum. The Maine Bureau of Insurance applies for a federal waiver to become the fourth state allowed to create a reinsurance program compensating insurers for extraordinary claims, while the Louisiana governor signs legislation authorizing a comparable waiver. Michigan’s governor signs legislation threatening to terminate that state’s Medicaid expansion if the Trump Administration does not allow unprecedented premiums to be charged to the newly-eligible population.