In the Health Reform Update for this week, the Trump Administration new guidance that relaxes or eliminates restrictions on federal waivers allowing states to opt-out of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and offer lower cost non-compliant coverage. A federal judge refuses to block the Administration’s expansion of short-term health plans that do not comply with the ACA until available data can show they are harming insurer risk pools.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) joins with Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in predicting that average benchmark premiums will slightly decline next year for consumers in federally-facilitated Marketplaces. However, a new KFF study concludes that average premiums would be as much as 16 percent lower next year if not for actions taken by Congress and the Administration to weaken the ACA.
CMS makes Wisconsin the fifth state allowed to impose Medicaid work requirements on “able-bodied” adults, despite warnings from Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission that states lack any means of tracking whether the tens of thousands projected to lose coverage can obtain other forms of coverage.