Senior Policy Analyst
The Trump Administration appears poised to propose, through its rule-making authority, changes for the individual health insurance market that would raise premiums for older Americans, raise deductibles, and make it harder for consumers to enroll in coverage.
The Administration will likely argue that these changes are needed to help stabilize the market. But, like the Administration’s decision to scale back marketplace outreach at the end of the recent open enrollment period, some of the possible changes could undermine stability by shrinking enrollment and making the pool of people with coverage sicker, on average. And they would do nothing to dispel the main source of uncertainty facing consumers with Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage and insurers offering ACA plans: the looming threat that congressional Republicans will repeal the ACA without enacting a comprehensive replacement.
The proposed rule, which would be open for public comment before being finalized, could include provisions that:
Supporters of the proposals seem unfazed at the impact on consumers. “If . . . maybe fewer people sign up for subsidized coverage, then so be it,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Ed Haislmaier, who worked on health insurance issues for the Trump transition team. “There is a new set of priorities here.” Maintaining access to affordable coverage doesn’t seem to be one of them.