The Trump administration is withholding billions of dollars in Obamacare payments to health insurers, a move that could cause premiums to rise in 2019, reports USA Today.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement on Saturday that it would stop payments after a federal district court in New Mexico decided in February the payments were based on flawed rules.
“CMS is seeking a quick resolution to the legal issues raised and will inform stakeholders of any update to the status of collections or payments at an appropriate future date,” the agency said in a statement.
The GOP’s commitment to repealing Obamacare without a replacement earlier this year didn’t work so now they’ve taken aim at the Affordable Care Act by defunding the program.
USA Today reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Saturday said it was putting “on hold” its “risk adjustment” program. The payments protect insurers from big losses.
The health plans pay into a pool — this doesn’t involve tax dollars — and funds are transferred to insurers that ended up with many high cost patients, according to reports. In 2017, $10.4 billion was involved.
The Trump administration is causing an unnecessary “new market disruption.”
“This decision comes at a critical time when insurance providers are developing premiums for 2019 and states are reviewing rates,” the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans said in a statement.
“This decision will have serious consequences for millions of consumers who get their coverage through small businesses or buy coverage on their own.”
“Without a quick resolution to this matter, this action will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small-business owners and could result in far fewer health plan choices,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in a statement.
“It will undermine Americans’ access to affordable coverage, particularly for those who need medical care the most.”