No Lifetime Limits for Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will not approve lifetime limits for Medicaid coverage previously requested by multiple states. This continued stance breaks with conservatives who support setting caps for how long an individual can receive Medicaid benefits. For more information please see The Hill.

Trump’s Plan to Lower Drug Prices Revealed

On Friday, May 11th the Trump Administration unveiled its plan to lower prescription drug prices. The proposal allows for more negotiation for Medicare drug prices through Part D drug plans. Additionally, the plan hopes to create more competition in the drug industry, expedite the availability of generic drugs, and reduce the amount paid to middlemen. No timeline for the implementation of the plan has been provided. For more information please see The Washington Post.

WA Exchange Lowering Fees for 2019 Plans

Currently plans on the WA Healthplanfinder come with a monthly carrier fee of $7.46. Starting with all 2019 plans this fee will be reduced to $3.46. The reduction in this fee is attributed to the record number of people who signed up for individual plans for 2018 as well as changes in operations. For more information please see The Spokesman-Review.

New Rules Exempting Consumers from ACA Individual Mandate Effective Immediately

The Trump Administration has issued new rules regarding the ACA Individual Mandate that take effect immediately. (The repeal of the Individual Mandate will not take place until 2019.) The new rules include a hardship exemption as well as an exception for those who oppose abortion where the only plans offered cover the procedure. For more information please see The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The AP.

2018 ACA Enrollment Only Slightly Lower From 2017

11.8 million people enrolled in ACA plans for 2018, down only 400,000 from 2017. First-time enrollment was down 4%. In states like WA that run their own exchanges, the enrollment remained the same from 2017. These numbers come as a surprise to some since the open enrollment window was cut in half and federal outreach efforts were greatly reduced. For more information please see The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.