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CMS Proposes New Rules to Bolster ACA Exchanges

Federal regulators have proposed new rules to improve the risk pools and make the Affordable Care Act exchanges more attractive to carriers that are still providing marketplace coverage. The announcement comes in the wake of an exodus of major carriers from the ACA....
September 7, 2016

Federal regulators have proposed new rules to improve the risk pools and make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges more attractive to carriers that are still providing marketplace coverage. The announcement comes in the wake of an exodus of major carriers from the ACA.

“We are announcing a proposed rule with clear, substantive improvements that would help issuers deliver more affordable choices to consumers and will help strengthen the marketplace for years to come,” said Kevin Counihan, chief executive officer of the Health Insurance Marketplaces with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

READ: Is Obamacare On Cusp of Falling Apart?

Aetna Inc., Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. earlier this year announced they were pulling out of the ACA exchanges after losses had made their participation unprofitable. It was also revealed that Aetna had sent U.S. officials a letter over a month ago that threatened to pull out of Obamacare’s government-run health insurance markets if antitrust officials attempted to block its $37 billion merger with Humana Inc. Subsequently, the Justice Department sued to block the merger.

Just months earlier, Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said the business value to Aetna of the public exchange system had far outweighed any losses the company might have suffered on exchange plans during the first two years of program operations. “We see this as a good investment,” Bertolini said at the time.