President Donald Trump plans to end a key set of Obamacare subsidies that helped lower-income enrollees pay for health care, the White House said Thursday, a dramatic move that raises questions about the law’s future.
The West Virginia Insurance Commission approved rate increases for Highmark West Virginia and CareSource Insurance’s services sold in the “Obamacare” exchange.
MetroNews learned Tuesday premiums for Highmark West Virginia will increase by 25.6 percent, while CareSource Insurance will have a 19.6-percent increase in its rate.
Eight-five percent of the around 25,000 residents who received health care through the exchange last year received a government subsidy, but those who did not saw a 32-percent increase in monthly premiums.
. . .
President Trump’s executive order directs federal agencies to write new rules that would allow consumers to buy less regulated, less expensive health insurance plans. The agencies will take months to enact new regulations and after that it’s unclear when consumers should expect premium relief. But this could be a game changer for those seeking more insurance options than have been permitted under ObamaCare.
President Trump is wielding his rule-making power to get closer to his goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare. His executive order issued Thursday broadly tasks the administration with developing policies to increase health care competition and choice in order to improve the quality of health care and lower prices. The order, President Trump said, would give “millions of Americans with Obamacare relief.”
. . .
One piece of this week’s order directs the Labor Department to “consider expanding access” to Association Health Plans, which would allow small businesses to team up to offer insurance. The order also seeks to expand the flexibility and use of health reimbursement arrangements, giving employees more flexibility in how they spend the pretax dollars in their accounts, including paying insurance premiums. A third part of the order directs cabinet agencies to consider new rules on allowing short-term insurance plans for up to a year to cover periods between more stable coverage (from the three months allowed Obama administration rules).
. . .