Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Phil Murphy can counteract ACA sabotage in New Jersey

I've suggested before that states can protect their individual markets for health insurance by passing their own individual mandates -- and using the revenue to further shore up their individual markets. In NJ Spotlight, I make the case specifically for New Jersey.

Revenue from the mandate
could be dedicated to strengthening the state’s individual health insurance market. One possibility would be direct financial help for people who don’t qualify for ACA premium subsidies — a group hit particularly hard by the premium hikes of the past two years. Another option is to spend the money on enrollment assistance and outreach, which the federal government radically cut in 2017. A third option is to dedicate the funds to a state-based reinsurance program.
Mandate revenue would not fully fund a reinsurance program, and New Jersey is in terrible fiscal shape.
But the state can also seek federal reinsurance funding via an ACA “innovation waiver”, as HHS specifically suggested last spring. Funding may be granted as a “pass-through” of savings derived from lower premiums — since lower premiums mean lower subsidies, which are paid by the federal government.
The rest, once more, is here.

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