In the Health Reform Update for this week, the Senate fails to pass any form of legislation repealing and/or replacing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pushing Republican leaders to consider potential bipartisan compromises to stabilize ACA Marketplaces in the short-term.
The Trump Administration holds off on threats to “let Obamacare implode” by terminating ACA cost-sharing reductions after the Congressional Budget Office finds that it would cause premiums to jump by at least 20 percent while the federal deficit would spike by nearly $200 billion over a decade.
Uncertainty over long-term CSR funding forces the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to delay the deadline for federal Marketplace insurers to submit proposed premiums until September 5th. Insurers continue to increase proposed 2018 premiums by 20 percent or more to account for the potential loss of CSRs. However, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that consumers in 21 major cities will still likely face only “modest” premium increases for the most popular silver-tier plan.
Centene and other ACA Marketplace insurers aggressively seek to fill-in counties left “bare” by insurers departing due to the uncertainty at the federal level. Only two counties nationwide are still left with no Marketplace options for 2018, although Kaiser confirms that more than a thousand mostly rural counties will have only one insurer from which to choose.