New policies weaken Affordable Care Act coverage

The Administration recently announced policies that could further undermine Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage.  Payments to ACA Insurers that cover high-cost patients with pre-existing and chronic conditions were suspended for an indefinite length of time. The risk adjustment program requires insurers with relatively healthier enrollees to transfer funds to insurers with less healthy enrollees, such as those aged 55-64.  This could discourage enrollment of higher cost individuals. In addition, funding was cut for navigators doing ACA outreach and enrollment was cut by $26 million. With the repeal of the individual mandate in the tax bill, there are concerns that younger, healthier people will not sign up for coverage, which could lead to higher premiums for other ACA enrollees.

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