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Health Care Insurers Are Freaking Out About Funding 2018 Plans

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Insurance companies are desperately trying to figure out President Donald Trump’s next move on health care reform as the deadline for filing 2018 plans on the Obamacare marketplaces approaches.

The providers are particularly concerned with what he will do with cost sharing reductions (CSRs), a little known feature of Obamacare, The Wall Street Journal reports. Insurers are required under the current system to provide CSRs to low and moderate income individuals who participate in the exchanges. To make consumers put more “skin in the game,” Obamacare effectively raised deductibles to levels that are tough for many Americans to meet without some financial support. CSRs were instituted to help insurers with the costs of deductibles patients can’t otherwise meet.

How the program works is rather straightforward. Insurers cover the cost of the patient’s deductible and the federal government reimburses the provider. (RELATED: The Potentially ‘Unconstitutional’ Aspect Of Obamacare Everyone Is Ignoring)

Under the leadership of former Speaker John Boehner, the House filed suit against the Obama administration in 2014, claiming it was illegally reimbursing marketplace insurers for CSRs.

The Obama administration then appealed the decision. The case remains open with no definitive ruling. Republicans have pushed back the court date twice. In February, Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan got a hold approved until May 22.

Companies face different timetables for filing their 2018 plans. Some have until May 3 to file; others have a more pressing schedule of only a few days.

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