States seek waivers to amend ACA

Written on Sep 14, 2017


Officials in all states are working to determine health insurance premium rates for 2018. In certain states, officials are seeking state-specific waivers to amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Effective Jan. 1, 2017, a lesser-known provision of the ACA grants states the option to request waivers to amend the federal law. Certain conditions must be met for the approval of these waivers, including that coverage must be as affordable and comprehensive as under the federal law.

Overall, 13 states have passed laws authorizing state officials to craft ACA waiver requests with six additional states on the record as considering such legislation. President Trump’s administration has already approved a waiver for Alaska, permitting a reinsurance program to limit claims costs for insurance companies.

Iowa is setting a new precedent as the first state seeking federal permission to alter substantial portions of the ACA in 2018. Inevitably, many states will track Iowa’s waiver submission progress and the federal response to rewriting portions of the ACA.

Officials from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) have signaled that waivers may be expedited for approval. HHS Secretary Price has actively encouraged states to review the process and request waivers, as needed.

In Ohio, state officials are considering a proposal that will deregulate the prominent ACA requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

Read the entire article here.

As additional information is released, Oswald will provide ongoing guidance and strategic direction for employers. We will remain vigilant in monitoring all regulatory actions, and through our relationships with industry experts in Washington D.C., we will continue our proactive communication efforts to anticipate change.

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