Trump administration cuts grants to help people get Obamacare

Trump administration cuts grants to help people get Obamacare

The Trump administration is cutting more funding for the Affordable Care Act. At the end of the year, President Trump signed the tax reform bill into law, which repealed the individual mandate imposing a fine on those who don't buy health insurance; that will go into effect in 2019. The announcement comes in the midst of the annual rate-filing period when insurers announce their estimated premium prices and plans for coverage to state regulators.

The move is just the latest in a line of decisions by the Trump administration to undermine the ACA.

This year it will spend just $10 million, down from $36 million spent last fall and $63 million under the Obama administration in 2016.

The new reduction of help for navigators, announced late Tuesday afternoon by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, fits within a pattern of moves by the administration to weaken the sweeping health-care law that President Trump has vowed to demolish.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the navigators that operate in the 34 states that use the federal marketplace - including many health and religious organizations - were ineffective and had outlived their usefulness. Also, navigators assist people with enrolling in Medicaid, which is not reflected in the numbers.

"Given our large and unique distribution-channel strategy of utilizing our retail centers along with our telesales efforts, our dedicated field agents and our direct in-market enrollment efforts, we do not depend on navigators to enroll ACA members", said spokesman Paul Kluding.

Late past year, it said it would halt so-called cost-sharing payments, which offset some out-of-pocket healthcare costs for low-income patients. "This is a time when consumers need more help to understand the insurance options that are available to them-not less". CMS officials said they are looking for a quick resolution to the legal issues raised.

The administration said it's appealing the ruling, which most immediately affects payments under the program in 2017 that were to be made this year.

Some states that operate their own marketplaces, however, are continuing to invest in these grass-roots aides.

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But navigators say this understates their accomplishments.

California has 1.5 million people in Obamacare plans, second highest in the nation behind Florida, which has 1.6 million. In President Barack Obama's a year ago in office, $63 million was spent on it.

The GOP repeal drive collapsed last summer after Sen.

But his administration has not stood idly by. The outcomes of these cases will directly impact millions of Americans, particularly people with preexisting conditions, disabilities, older Americans and other vulnerable communities who rely on the ACA. In Iowa, Wellmark, a regional insurer, plans to rejoin the ACA market for 2019. Instead, it moves funds around among insurers to make sure that even people with pre-existing conditions or who are at higher risk of getting sick can get coverage.

Critics deride such plans as "junk insurance".

These plans, however, aren't required to have the same consumer protections as ACA policies.

This adds to the concern about the lack of navigator funding. Back in February, a federal judge partially agreed with the insurer and barred the government from making further collections or payments using its current formula.

"The administration already ended one program that helped keep premiums lower for consumers". They also help consumers file appeals with insurers. Her insurer, Oscar, is boosting rates again for 2019, and Williams is slated to see an increase to $518.33 for a low-level bronze plan.

This plan has now been rebranded and was issued by the Health Policy Consensus Group on June 19 in the form of "Policy Recommendations to Congress".

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