States would be able to largely bypass the federal Obamacare exchange under a rule finalized Thursday by the Trump administration.
The last-minute rule is aimed at interjecting more free market competition into the Affordable Care Act marketplaces by allowing web brokers and health insurers to directly enroll people in health plans.
But it’s unclear whether the rule will take effect. Congress and the incoming administration could undo recent regulations adopted by Trump under the Congressional Review Act. Officials for Biden also say they plan to pause all rules whose effective dates occur after President Donald Trump leaves office. The Obamacare exchange rule is one such rule.
Georgia got the go-ahead in November to bypass the federal HealthCare.gov exchange starting in 2023, and the new rule would allow other states to do the same, beginning in 2022.
Georgia said its plan would give people more ways to find coverage, rather than be limited to HealthCare.gov, which it said can be difficult to use.
The final rule also codifies a 2018 guidance allowing states to use Obamacare subsidies for health plans that may not meet the ACA’s coverage requirements, such as short-term limited-duration health plans and association health plans.
The 2018 guidance also loosened definitions for comprehensiveness, affordability, and coverage that states must meet when seeking an ACA waiver.
“The Departments are of the view that formalizing these policies and interpretations through rulemaking will encourage more states to pursue waivers without being concerned that some of the rules may change without sufficient notice after they have submitted a waiver application,” the rule said.
Reprinted with Permission from Bloomberg Law by Sara Hansard