13 Jun Health Insurance Market Stabilization Update in Health
As the U.S. Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) continues to take shape, support from members of both parties has emerged on the near-term need to stabilize health insurance markets through funding of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments established under the ACA. Senate AHCA provisions would reportedly provide $15 billion for each of 2018 and 2019 to fund CSRs. The Trump administration has yet to clearly signal how long it will continue to pay the subsidies absent congressional action.
For a Deep Dive on CSRs, Check Out:
- These two blogs from BPC Senior Policy Analyst Peter Fise:
- An Analysis by Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting looks at unintended consequences of failing to fund CSRs, including higher uptake of ACA premium tax subsidies.
Support for Paying CSRs from Both Sides of the Political Aisle:
- In his written statement prepared for last Thursday’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) called on Congress to “…act within [its] constitutional authority now to temporarily and legally fund Cost Sharing Reduction payments…”
- Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has suggested Congress may need to pass short-term stabilization measures for 2018 and 2019.
- Nearly 200 House Democrats urged the Trump administration to continue paying CSRs to provide stability to health insurance markets and protect American families who rely upon these payments to afford their health insurance.
- A group of Bipartisan Policy Center health policy experts, representing diverse political views, has called for extending the subsidies; and experts at a recent BPC event echoed that call, urging that the subsidies be extended through at least 2019 and that Congress also explore reinsurance mechanisms to help insurers manage risk and bring down costs for consumers.
- Physicians, health insurance plans, hospitals, and others in the business communities have weighed in with Senate leaders, calling on Congress to act now to extend the subsidies to prevent major premium hikes.