Insurers warn of rising premiums after Trump axes Obamacare payments again

Trump administration freezes Obamacare payments, citing court decision

The government collects the money from health insurers with relatively healthy enrollees, who cost less to insure.

"We are very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments", the group said in a statement Saturday. "It will allow more companies to get into the insurance market".

"We were disappointed by the court's recent ruling", said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

"An effective risk adjustment program is crucial to the sound operation of a health insurance marketplace in which individuals, families and small businesses with health needs have access to more affordable, high-quality coverage", said Bill Wehrle, Kaiser Permanente vice president of health insurance exchanges, in a statement.

The announcement came as insurers were awaiting an annual report that usually comes at the end of June, informing them of whether they owe money into the risk adjustment program or will be paid out for the previous year.

Insurance is normally based on risk, with premiums costing more for clients who are expected to require more healthcare services. "New Yorkers aren't fooled".

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said today that the February action by the trial court in New Mexico "prevents CMS from making further collections or payments under the risk adjustment program, including amounts for the 2017 benefit year, until the litigation is resolved". The CMS, which noted that a federal court in MA found its formula fair, has asked the New Mexico court to reconsider its decision and said it is seeking a quick resolution to the legal issue.

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Navigators and other advocates push back on that claim, saying that navigators help enroll some of the people who most need help, such as those who don't speak English well or those in rural areas.

The move should not have been unexpected given the administration's disdain for other provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leading to the elimination of other key taxpayer-funded subsidies and the outright eradication of the individual mandate through this past winter's tax cut legislation. The CMS has appealed the decision, particularly because a MA court upheld such payments.

Over the weekend arrived some fresh political fury that the Trump Administration is trying to sabotage ObamaCare by suspending something called "risk adjustment" payments.

It could also encourage more insurers to bow out of Obamacare.

The Trump administration has halted billions of dollars of Obamacare payments to insurers due to a court ruling.

Since Congress was unable to pass such a law, Trump and his aides have been taking a series of steps to weaken the law through administration maneuvers. These alternative plans don't have to provide all of the Affordable Care Act's consumer protections.

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