The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday announced a set of limited “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) going forward.

“While these steps will help stabilize the individual and small group markets, they are not a long-term cure for the problems that the Affordable Care Act has created in our health care system,” Seema Verma, the Trump administration official responsible for the markets, said in a statement.

Four changes were announced:

  • The open enrollment period for 2018 will be cut in half, to 45 days.
  • Controls and curbs will be placed on special enrollment periods, a system allowing individuals to buy insurance outside of open enrollment, which insurers say has been routinely abused.
  • Insurers will be allowed to collect past premiums due before issuing a new, or renewed, policy.
  • Insurers will be allowed to design skinnier, less expensive plans for young adults.

A final rule establishing these ACA changes was published in the Federal Register on April 18, with an effective date of June 19, 2017. You can read the final rule here.