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"The Wrecking Ball Flies"
Proposed Rule Limits Marketplace Consumer Protections

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule on Wednesday, Feb. 15 that limits Open Enrollment Periods, Special Enrollment Periods, and consumers protections in insurance underwriting.

While not deciding on a “repeal or replace” strategy, the Trump Administration instead published this proposed rule to start the ball rolling on changes to appease insurers in the short term. The rule responds to concern that the insurance markets could be thrown into chaos if repeal were to happen in the next year or two – but with open enrollment for 2018 coverage still in the works. This proposed rule puts the interest of the insurance companies above consumers.

Public comment on the rule is open until March 7 at 11:59pm Eastern Time (10:59pm Central Time). Click here to make a public comment.

Tom Price Confirmed as New HHS Secretary by Senate Party Line Vote

On February 10, Tom Price became the health and human services secretary by a party-line vote in the Senate (52-47). As policymakers make the case for repeal or repair of the Affordable Care Act, writer Sarah Kliff outlines 17 steps Price can take to start dismantling of the ACA right now.

“Price will need to wait for congressional action to dismantle most major parts of the health care law. But there’s also a lot he can do right this very moment, through executive action,” 

As Uninsured Rates Decline, Insurance Retention Improves

In 2016, the uninsured rate dropped from 9.1% in 2015 to 8.8%, reports a new National Health Interview (NHI) survey. NHI also reported that Medicaid expansion states saw a .5% decrease in uninsured rates, while states with no expansion remained stagnant at a rate of 17.5% uninsured.

Many feared offering public coverage would trigger a mass exodus individuals from private coverage in lieu of public coverage—also known as crowd out. In fact, a new Health Affairs study confirms “increasing numbers of people transitioned to employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) plans after 2014."

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