Federal Action to Stabilize Health Insurance Markets is Right Move, Say Health Industry Leaders
Stabilization Rule Will Bring Greater Predictability to Marketplace, Help Encourage Insurers to Participate in Coverage Exchanges
WASHINGTON – Regulations released today by the Trump administration will help stabilize the health insurance marketplace, addressing flaws that have existed since the inception of the Affordable Care Act, according to the Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from all sectors of American healthcare.
HLC president Mary R. Grealy said, “For insurers to participate in the market and offer affordable health coverage, they require stability and predictability. This rule is a very positive step in the right direction. It provides greater flexibility to enable plans to better serve consumers, while also enabling insurers to more clearly and accurately assess their patient populations in order to work toward greater affordability.”
Ms. Grealy said her organization was particularly pleased with provisions in the rule that will curb abuses of “special enrollment periods” that exist in the Affordable Care Act and restrict the ability of individuals to ‘game’ the system by acquiring coverage for short periods of time and then dropping it without paying premiums. The new rule, she said, would encourage people to maintain continuous health insurance coverage.
“These aspects of the current law create an environment in which insurers are never fully sure who they’re covering and for what period of time,” she said. “This injects instability into the marketplace, undermines competition, and impedes efforts to make coverage more affordable.”
She also praised the administration for taking steps to give insurers more flexibility to offer a greater range of coverage options and for transferring authority to states to assess the adequacy of health plans’ provider networks.
The Healthcare Leadership Council had recommended these and other health insurance market improvements in a letter to the Trump transition team prior to the inauguration.
Ms. Grealy said, “As Congress and the administration begin major health system reform, a process that will take some time to fully implement, the essential first step is to address current marketplace challenges. This rule is a positive intervention.”