With Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to stabilize the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans…
…Policymakers generally agree on what immediate efforts to stabilize the market might include. At the top of most lists is prompt federal payment of the subsidies to insurers known as “cost reduction payments.”
Here are five proposals that are more controversial — but are starting to generate buzz in policy circles.
These are the payments that reimburse insurers for the discounts on copayments and deductibles they are required by law to give to their low-income customers.
Insurers also want the federal government to continue enforcing the requirement that most Americans either have insurance or pay a tax penalty.
The government also needs to work hard to get uninsured people to sign up for coverage during the upcoming open enrollment period, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, insurers insist.
Those federal efforts are essential, the firms say, to keeping enough healthy customers in the mix to defray the costs of beneficiaries who have high medical needs.
Those are among the most commonly proposed fixes for the insurance market. Here are five proposals that are more controversial — but are starting to generate buzz in policy circles.
1. Allow people into Medicare starting at age 55.
Getting slightly younger people into Medicare, the federal program for the disabled and Americans 65 and older, is a longtime goal of Democrats. It dates at least to President Bill Clinton’s administration and was nearly included in the Affordable Care Act in 2010…