Led by Alaska, states are setting up reinsurance programs to help pay the health care costs of their most medically needy citizens in hopes that insurance companies won’t abandon the Obamacare marketplace entirely.
The latest to join the trend are Idaho, Oklahoma and Minnesota. Alaska was the first to establish a reinsurance fund, whichit did in 2016.
In Tennessee, where the announced departure of Humana from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace threatens to leave the state with no Obamacare option, the insurance regulator, Julie Mix McPeak, is meeting with insurers with the message that, as reported in today’s Wall Street Journal, “We’ll do whatever we can to make this area attractive to you on the individual exchange market.”
To set up these funds, the states must obtain a waiver from the federal government, which the Trump administration has said it will grant.
All this comes as a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s health industry subsidies, totaling $7 billion a year, comes up before an appeals court in May. In the lawsuit, House Republicans claim the funds were never constitutionally authorized.