Administrative actions to “improve” health insurance markets

Yesterday, Jennifer Haberkorn of Politico reported on the Trump Administration’s plan to “improve the individual and small group markets most harmed by Obamacare.” The plan is in a memo obtained by Senator Bob Casey and shared with Politico. It’s a 10-point plan encompassing the following areas, though details are lacking to such an extent that I don’t fully understand what some are getting at:

  1. Special enrollment periods (require verification of eligibility)
  2. Grace periods (tighten rules about paying premiums)
  3. Open enrollment periods (shorten them)
  4. Network adequacy (return authority of it to states)
  5. Essential health benefits (allow states more flexibility)
  6. Section 1332 waivers (expedite them)
  7. Third party payment of premiums (steering patients to private coverage instead public coverage is a no-no)
  8. Permit lower cost direct enrollment pathways (more flexibility to states)
  9. Benefit design flexibility (more flexibility to states)
  10. Encourage skinny exchanges (more innovation)

According to the Politico piece, seven of these have already been implemented: 1, 3, 4, 5, 9 are among those seven, I think (though I’m confused about how 5 and 9 differ). The piece then says 4.5 of these had not been implemented, but had been proposed at the time the memo was written. Numbers 7 and 10 are among those not implemented, I think. Anyway, 7 + 4.5 makes 11.5 proposals out of 10, so I’m confused.



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