Administration: Insurers focused on 2018 plans, not repeal

A top administration official says that health insurers are still committed to Affordable Care Act marketplaces, despite speculation over changes a Trump administration might make to the sprawling health care law.

Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said during a press conference Wednesday that health insurers are keeping their focus on 2018 coverage in the federal and state marketplaces. He and other CMS officials have had conversations with many health plans in the past week, he said.

“I think it’s telling that in our meetings and conversations, what do they want to talk to us about? They want to talk to us about policy adjustments for 2018, and they’re very focused on those,” Slavitt told reporters at the Department of Health and Human Services briefing.

As Congress and the incoming Trump administration weigh what steps they will take aimed at reforming or repealing President Barack Obama‘s signature health insurance legislation, insurers will need to start preparations for participating on the federal and state-based marketplaces in 2018. And while Republicans begin the process of reform, many have said they don’t want to disrupt coverage for people who have coverage under the law.

“This is their business,” Slavitt said. “For many of them, the individual market is a huge part of their business, for some of them the individual market has been a small part of their business, and they either do or don’t want to grow it, but if they do they want things to work better.”

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