In the Health Reform Update for this week, the Congressional Budget Office and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services actuary predict sharp spikes in 2019 premiums and uninsured rates due to Congressional repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate and the Trump Administration’s proposed allowance for limited-benefit plans. Insurers in two of the largest states (California and New York) are already seeking double-digit rate hikes as a result.
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and Vermont are among the states that are already taking legislative or regulatory action seeking to limit the use of short-term and/or association health plans that need not comply with ACA consumer protections, fearing they would siphon critical enrollment of younger and healthier consumers away from Marketplace risk pools.
New Jersey becomes the first state to create its own mandate that everyone purchase minimum health insurance they can afford, after the ACA version was repealed by Congress. It also becomes the fourth to authorize the creation of a federally-approved reinsurance program that mitigates premium hikes by compensating insurers for exceptional claims.
After a four-year battle, Virginia Republicans finally agree to expand Medicaid under the ACA, but only after work requirements for the newly-eligible population were added.
Vermont’s Governor signs the nation’s first law creating a wholesaler program to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.