In the Health Reform Update for this week, Senate Democrats fall one vote short in their effort to block Trump Administration regulations expanding the use of short-term health plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Premiums for the most popular “benchmark” plans offered in the 39 federally-facilitated Marketplaces will fall next year by 1.5 percent on average, after two years of premium increases spiking by an average of 25 and 37 percent. Increased competition is widely credited for the lower premiums as dominant insurers return to Marketplaces they had previously exited due to uncertainty over the fate of the ACA.
The Maryland Attorney General asks the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the state’s first-in-the nation law banning price-gouging for essential off-patient or generic drugs. Virginia receives federal approval to start accepting applications for its new Medicaid expansion.