A group of 14 patient and consumer groups issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration's announcement that it will freeze risk adjustment payments:
The administration's decision to withhold an estimated $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments for 2017 from insurance companies is extremely disappointing. This critical program discourages insurers from cherry-picking healthy people and makes the market work for healthy and sick people alike. This is the latest move in a long list of measures taken by the administration to destabilize individual insurance markets and undermine the ability of people with pre-existing health conditions to enroll in affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage.
As a result of this action, premiums may rise, forcing families who struggle with chronic or serious illness to choose between their health and other financial commitments. This new financial burden could cause insurers to exit the insurance markets, leaving consumers with few -- if any -- choices to enroll in comprehensive coverage.
For months, the administration has repeatedly stated its commitment to protecting coverage for the millions of Americans with a pre-existing health condition. But its actions -- including this decision to withhold risk adjustment payments in addition to recent proposed and final rules that will expand access to subpar insurance products such as association health plans and short-term limited-duration insurance -- speak much louder than its words. As a result of these earlier actions, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that premiums will spike as much as 15 percent, causing millions of Americans to leave the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance market altogether.
We urge the administration to immediately resume payments. As always, our organizations stand ready to work with the administration and Congress on ways to lower costs while ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions have access to adequate, affordable, and accessible coverage that meets their medical needs.
Patient and Consumer Groups
American Heart Association
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Hemophilia Federation of America
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Health Council
National MS Society
National Organization for Rare Disorders
National Patient Advocate Foundation