AP – Donald Trump’s administration has ended Affordable Care Act contracts that brought assistance into libraries, businesses and urban neighborhoods in 18 cities, meaning shoppers on the insurance exchanges will have fewer places to turn for help signing up for coverage.
Community groups say the move, announced to them by contractors last week, will make it even more difficult to enroll the uninsured and help people already covered re-enroll or shop for a new policy. That’s already a concern because of consumer confusion stemming from the political wrangling in Washington and a shorter enrollment period.
People will have 45 days to shop for 2018 coverage, starting Nov. 1 and ending Dec. 15. In previous years, they had twice that much time.
Some see it as another attempt to undermine the health law’s marketplaces by a president who has suggested he should let “Obamacare” fail. The administration, earlier this year, pulled paid advertising for the sign-up website HealthCare.gov, prompting an inquiry by a federal inspector general into that decision and whether it hurt sign-ups.
Now insurers and advocates are concerned that the administration could further destabilize the marketplaces where people shop for coverage by not promoting them or not enforcing the mandate compelling people to get coverage. The administration has already threatened to withhold payments to insurers to help people afford care, which would prompt insurers to sharply increase prices.
Elizabeth Hagan, associate director of coverage initiatives for the liberal advocacy group Families USA said:
“There’s a clear pattern of the administration trying to undermine and sabotage the Affordable Care Act. It’s not letting the law fail, it’s making the law fail.”
Read the entire article on CNBC.com