Follow up from blog posted February 21, 2017
Yesterday afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule claiming to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets. In fact, it does just the opposite.
HCFANY and thousands of other consumer and provider groups submitted comments in opposition to the proposed version of the rule because many of its provisions would have harmed consumers. However, the rule was finalized largely as proposed.
The final rule reduces the open enrollment period for individual and small group health insurance plans from 13 weeks to just six weeks, which gives consumers significantly less time to shop around for and enroll in the best plan for them.
The final rule also decreases the allowable actuarial values for health plans at each metal level, which could reduce the advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) that help make health plans purchased through the Marketplace more affordable for moderate-income individuals and families. According to an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, even a 2 percent decrease in actuarial value could result in a $327 reduction in APTCs for an individual.
The final rule will make it more difficult for consumers to qualify for and enroll in health coverage through special enrollment periods, which could lead to gaps in coverage and deter enrollment.
Currently, it is unclear how this rule will affect New York because state officials are still studying it closely. Come back to HCFANY next week for more information.