New Senate Bill Retains Medicaid Cuts, Provides More Money to Stabilize Individual Market

7.17.17 weekly update from Welltheos, a private exchange platform designed for consumers, brokers, and agencies.

Click Here to read New Senate Bill Retains Medicaid Cuts, Provides More Money to Stabilize Individual Market

A revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act retains significant cuts to Medicaid. Lawmakers have also decided to keep taxes on the wealthy and insurer CEO compensation, which are projected to bring in $232 billion over a decade. Rick Pollack, President of the American Hospitals Association released a statement saying that in the latest update released, “the unacceptable flaws of BCRA remain unchanged”. The bill adds more than $130 billion in spending, primarily for states to use for high-risk pools or reinsurance programs.* Other developments include the introduction of the Direct Enrollment Proxy Pathway and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ decision to discontinue the Federally-Facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP exchanges).

*BCRA allows individual states to allow insurance companies to offer plans that do not accept people with pre-existing conditions. This would take us back to the days when the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan took people the insurance companies had declined based on their medical history. ICHIP was “sundowned” when the Affordable Care Act required insurance companies to take all applicants regardless of medical history.

Insurance companies intending to offer health insurance in Illinois have already filed their plans and prices for 2018 with the Illinois Department of Insurance based on the current ACA.

While we don’t expect Congressional action to affect individual/family health insurance for 2018, we’ll keep you informed.

Jerry Pearlstein   Rebecca Bloomfield