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We are only a few weeks into 2019 and the Administration is already busy sabotaging the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2020 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters rule. In one part of the rule, CMS seeks input on ending an ACA process called “silver loading.” As the name implies, this practice allows insurers to “load,” or increase premiums for silver tier ACA plans to mitigate losses incurred due to the loss of cost-sharing reductions. In turn, insurers can offer lower premiums for certain consumers and add stability to the ACA Marketplace. Ending this process, along with other parts of the rule, have been described by former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt as “changes to the ACA which would cut coverage for ~ 2 million Americans, significantly increase premiums, and raise out of pocket costs.”

According to Protect Our Care, the CMS rule would: Cut premium tax credits by $1 billion; cause 100,000 people to lose coverage annually starting in 2020; and increase annual premiums and out of pockets costs for individuals and or families.  

Throughout 2018 we highlighted the many ways the Administration sought to undermine the ACA. During the last Open Enrollment period alone we watched as they: once again shortened the amount of time to enroll in a plan; slashed funding for enrollment assistance and outreach; and removed critical consumer assistance information from healthcare.gov. Unfortunately, it seems like we can expect more of the same in 2019.

Comments to the proposed rule are due on February 19.

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