Trump Administration releases new proposed rule on the Affordable Care Act

On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a proposed rule on health care. Key changes proposed by the rule include:

  • Shortening the upcoming annual enrollment period from November 1, 2017, to December 15, 2017.
  • Adjusting the de minimis range used for determining the level of coverage provided by insurers.
  • Requiring additional supporting documentation for special enrollment periods.
  • Requiring unpaid premiums to be paid before enrolling a patient into the next year’s plan.
  • Deferring to states to assess network adequacy.
  • Revising the timeline and health plan certification and rate review process for 2018.

In the past, open enrollment begins November 1 and ends January 31. The Trump Administration reasons that this change will align the Marketplaces with the Employer-Sponsored Insurance Market and Medicare, which will help lower insurance prices. However, the proposed change raises the question of whether shortening open enrollment would result in less individuals enrolled in coverage.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute, concluded that the new proposed rule would weaken marketplace stability. They noted that the adjusted de minimus range included proposed rule would allow individual-market insurers to offer lower priced plans with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

The deadline to submit public comments for consideration is 5 p.m. EST on March 7, 2017. Comments can be submitted electronically or by mail. Submitted comments will be made available to the public.