The Trump Administration has issued final market stabilization rules designed to keep insurers in the individual health insurance Marketplaces. The rules are virtually the same as the proposed rules described in our Update #4. Perhaps the most noticeable change resulting from the rules’ implementation will be that the enrollment period for 2018 will be shortened to November 1-December 15, 2017. (States that run their own exchanges, like Washington, California, and New York, can supplement the enrollment period.)
The agencies that collaborated on the rules expressed the hope that the rules will “help stabilize premiums over time, increase issuer participation, and ultimately provide consumers with more coverage options ... thereby attracting more young and healthy enrollees into plans.” After the proposed rules were published, the effort to “repeal and replace” the ACA seemingly has reached impasse, making the long-term viability of the Marketplaces even more important. Insurers are now looking for assurances that the Trump Administration will continue to pay cost-sharing subsidies while litigation over them continues. Discontinuance of the subsidies alone would cause an average estimated 19 percent increase in premiums, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.