Trump Administration Proposes Obamacare Changes To 'Stabilize' Market

The new rule would cut Obamacare's enrollment period in half and tighten certain enrollment procedures.
Posted at 2:50 PM, Feb 16, 2017

The Trump administration has proposed a new rule for Obamacare.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services — proposed the rule, which would cut the health care law's open enrollment period in half.

It would also tighten special enrollment procedures that allow people to sign up for coverage after the deadline.

The goal here is to make it harder for consumers to "game the system." Insurance companies complain that people wait to enroll until they're sick then drop their coverage after they receive treatment, which drives the insurer's costs up.

And that is forcing anxious companies to either raise their rates or abandon the marketplace completely.

This week, Humana became the first major insurer to pull out of Obamacare for 2018 under President Donald Trump. And others have warned they will follow suit.

The CMS says its proposed changes will help "stabilize" the marketplace while the government continues to consider reforming or replacing the law.

The acting administrator of the CMS said in a statement, "This proposal will take steps to stabilize the Marketplace, provide more flexibility to states and insurers, and give patients access to more coverage options. They will help protect Americans enrolled in the individual and small group health insurance markets while future reforms are being debated."

But no one knows when or if a new insurance system will be put in place. Trump promised to quickly repeal and replace Obamacare. But the GOP has hit several roadblocks in its journey to dismantle the law.

The CMS will take public comments on the proposal till March 7. The final rule could go into effect shortly after that.