Depending on how the policy for individuals is received, the Trump administration may seek other ways to exempt people from using the federal marketplace. "If this works very well, there will be proposals to shrink or eliminate HealthCare.gov," predicted Mark Pauly, a health economist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Trump administration says the goal is to help create stability in the health insurance market. "It is common sense to make it as simple and easy as possible for consumers to shop for and access health coverage," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. "It is time to get the federal government out of the way and give patients the best tools to make their own healthcare decisions."
Broadening distribution channels for consumers to gain coverage makes sense, said Kevin Counihan, CEO of HealthCare.gov under President Barack Obama. He cautioned that the CMS should certify that third-party vendors have the necessary administrative capabilities.
The Obama administration had raised the idea for a direct enrollment in proposed rulemaking, but it was never finalized. Serious concerns had been raised about consumers having to provide personal financial information to third parties, said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.