On June 8, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The RFI was released pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13765, issued on Jan. 20, entitled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.” For more information on this EO, please see the Health Matters update entitled “President Trump Issues Executive Order 13765 on the Affordable Care Act.”
The RFI clarifies that the notice is a request for information only and that it does not “constitute a notice of proposed rulemaking or request for proposals, applications, proposal abstracts, or quotations.” In the RFI, CMS requests feedback on the following four topics and questions:
1. “Empowering patients and promoting consumer choice. What activities would best inform consumers and help them choose a plan that best meets their needs? Which regulations currently reduce consumer choices of how to finance their health care and health insurance needs? Choice includes the freedom to choose how to finance one’s healthcare, which insurer to use, and which provider to use.”
2. “Stabilizing the individual, small group, and non-traditional health insurance markets. What changes would bring stability to the risk pool, promote continuous coverage, increase the number of younger and healthier consumers purchasing plans, reduce uncertainty and volatility, and encourage uninsured individuals to buy coverage?”
3. “Enhancing affordability. What steps can HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] take to enhance the affordability of coverage for individual consumers and small businesses?”
4. “Affirming the traditional regulatory authority of the States in regulating the business of health insurance. Which HHS regulations or policies have impeded or unnecessarily interfered with States’ primary role in regulating the health insurance markets they know best?” The RFI also summarizes steps that the Trump administration has taken to date seeking to stabilize the insurance markets. The RFI was formally published in the Federal Register on June 12. Comments are due to CMS by July 12.