On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) along with the Department of the Treasury released revised guidance giving states more regulatory power with innovation waivers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The way CMS evaluates and accepts waivers regarding innovation for each state’s individual market is slated to change, and now includes the Trump administration’s often touted association health plans and short-term options under the expanding umbrella term, “coverage.”
These actions override the 2015 guidance issued during Obama’s presidency and are targeted toward giving states more confidence to pursue Section 1332 waivers. Under Section 1332 of the ACA, states can opt out of certain law provisions as long as the new waiver plan meets the “guardrails” in place that guarantees the retention of coverage.
In a blog post, CMS administrator Seema Verma addressed the need for the new guidance, saying:
“After the Affordable Care Act’s regulations took effect, we have witnessed a serious deterioration of the individual market across the country because of skyrocketing costs and the withdrawal of insurance plans.”
Verma calls the guidance a “major step” in enabling states to “address the problems caused by the ACA by issuing new guidance giving them broader flexibility to waive ACA regulations through State Relief and Empowerment Waivers.”
Matthew Fielder, a former chief economist of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama administration described the news as a long-awaited effort to legislatively repeal and replace the ACA, according to HealthLeaders.
Read Verma’s full statement on the CMS site.
Also found on the CMS site is the press release of the guidance.
Check out HealthLeaders for a different perspective,
And access the full guidance document here.