Proposed Marketplace Rule Does More to Burden Consumers than “Stabilize” Market

Experts

Director, Special Projects
Sr. Media Relations Associate

February, 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CMS today released its proposed rule aimed at “stabilizing” the insurance marketplace by curbing enrollment opportunities and easing benefit requirements for some levels of coverage, allowing insurers to pass costs along to consumers.

Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, noted that the proposal would make it more difficult to get coverage and care without providing the kind of certainty that would ensure market stability.

“The changes in this proposed rule would do more to burden consumers than offer any ‘stability’ to the market. In fact, hurdles like shortened enrollment periods and decreased access for special enrollment periods, paired with more room for insurers to pass more costs onto consumers could very well have the opposite effect,” said Laura MacCleery, Vice President of policy and mobilization for Consumer Reports. “Research has continually shown us that Americans are already confused about what and when open enrollment is. This rule could make it more difficult for healthy, young adults to enroll — making it equally difficult to balance the risk pool and imperiling the market. That’s the opposite of stability.”

MacCleery continued, “Threats to dismantle the current insurance system without any comprehensive plan creates chaos. Rather than focusing on promises of repeal, Congressional leaders could focus on actually delivering a plan that  — at the least – maintains the coverage available now and provides comparable consumer protections for all Americans.”