Health insurers: Trump continues key ACA payments, for now

Washington – America’s Health Insurance Plans said Tuesday that President Donald Trump has continued to make a controversial Affordable Care Act payment to insurers that lowers the out-of-pocket health care costs for low- and moderate-income Americans.

The cost-sharing-reduction payments are made to insurers every month to subsidize co-pays and deductibles for individuals and families who qualify.

Continuance of these payments is considered key to stabilizing the marketplace and keeping insurers in Obamacare state exchanges like Access Health CT.

“We have had no indication the CSR payment process has been interrupted for June,” said AHIP spokesman Catheryn Donaldson.

Trump, however, has not made a commitment to continuing the payments for the rest of the year, expected to bring insurers about $7 billion this year.

Congressional Republicans sued the Obama administration over the payments, saying they were not appropriated by Congress.

Anthem and ConnectiCare, the two remaining insurers on Connecticut’s exchange, said the fate of these payments will help determine whether they stay on the exchange in 2018. If they quit the exchange, 73,000 Connecticut residents will lose Obamacare subsidies that help them purchase insurance.

ConnectiCare spokeswoman Kim Kann said the insurer would prefer a longer-term commitment to the payments.

“It’s pretty clear that these payments help to keep carrier rates lower than they would otherwise be,”  said Access Health CEO James Wadleigh .

Insurers also say they will have to boost their rates by another 20 percent if the payments don’t continue.

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