Even as health insurers are pushing the Trump administration to keep in place billions in subsidies for low-income people buying coverage under the federal health care law, they’re finding themselves holding the bag as uncertainty clouds the future of the industry in the near term.
Most of the uncertainty surrounds the status of subsidies known as cost-sharing reductions which allow companies to cover some seven million individuals by lowering their deductibles and co-payments. Seema Verma, the new Medicare administrator, says her group “reiterated our most pressing concern: the instability in the individual market created by the uncertainty of funding.”
Many insurers are skittish as deadlines loom which call for setting next year’s rates. Some have even left the federal marketplace altogether. The subsidies are a hot-button issue in Congress as some House Republicans are in opposition with the way Obama administration funded those subsidies. When the previous administration won a court case – now on appeal – which supported the framework behind the payments, more bad blood was the result.