Observers are wondering if Idaho officials are negotiating with the Trump administration behind the scenes to meld their proposal for cheaper, leaner individual-market plans with the administration's plan to let insurers offer short-term products.
Health insurance groups were guardedly relieved by the CMS' decision to block Idaho's move to allow noncompliant plans, as they feared other GOP-led states similarly would seek to unravel the Affordable Care Act's consumer protections.
The White House is urging Congress pass legislation that doesn't authorize cost-sharing reduction payments and reinsurance for 2017, even though insurers had to contribute to the program.
The White House is pushing Congress to adopt several conservative policies including allowing long-term use of short-term plans and seniors being charged higher premiums. In exchange, it will support bringing back cost-sharing reduction payments for individual market enrollees.
A federal appeals court has requested additional information from the U.S. House of Representatives and HHS before it considers signing off on their settlement over cost-sharing reduction payments for insurers.
Disappointed that Congress failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, red-state lawmakers continue to look for ways to take down the law. But many are finding that they must balance that goal with the need to shore up insurance exchanges.
A federal judge ruled that HHS couldn't use statewide average premiums to come up with its risk-adjustment formula because the agency wrongly assumed the ACA required the program to be budget-neutral. However, most of the co-op's suit was dismissed.
Federal lawmakers soon may have financial justification for funding cost-sharing reduction payments for insurers as well as reinsurance, when a new government report shows CSRs will save the government $32 billion if they're funded for the next three years.
Between 2.4 million and 4.3 million people would shift to association plans by 2022 if the Trump administration's proposal to expand access to them is approved, consulting firm Avalere Health found.
Twenty states sued the federal government to scrap the Affordable Care Act, claiming the repeal of the individual mandate's tax penalty rendered the law unconstitutional.
The HHS walked back the request to fund the Affordable Care Act's risk-corridor program after health insurers suing for those payments said the budget item strengthened their cases.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar refuses to take a stance on Idaho's move to get around ACA coverage rules, setting up a potential conflict with congressional Democrats.