Judge May Keep ACA Subsidy Payments Flowing to Insurers

A federal judge appears to be sympathetic to the idea of granting a temporary restraining order that would force the administration of President Donald Trump to continue to make Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments.

The judge, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, has scheduled a hearing on the request for the restraining order for 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Monday.

The Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy program helps low-income Affordable Care Act exchange plan users pay their deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance amounts. Officials with the Trump administration said last week that they do not believe they have a valid congressional appropriation to make the payments. They said they would withhold a round of payments insurers were expecting to receive this week.

Analysts at Avalere Health have argued that the mid-year subsidy cuts could cost issuers of individual major medical coverage about $1 billion between now and the end of the year, or about $167 for each of the people who use the subsidy. Read more…