CMS also intends to cut drugspending by letting individual, small group and large groupinsurers to change prescription drug formularies in midyear toencourage members to use lower-cost generics.

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Proposed rule changes advanced by the Trump administration wouldcause a premium increase of approximately 1 percent forpurchasers of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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According to an Associated Press report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servicessaid the reason for the change was “to more accurately calculatepremium subsidies under the law” and to improvethe accuracy of the complex formula that affects premium levels forconsumers.

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Related: Health insurance premiums crushing for those payingfull price

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As noted by Modern Healthcare, that the 300-plus pageproposed regulation also would reduce the exchange user fee chargedto health insurers to fund the health insurance exchanges.According to CMS, that would help lower consumer premiums in2020.

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The exchange user fee would be lowered from 3.5 percent ofpremiums for qualified health plans on the federal exchange in 2020to 3 percent; for plans on state-based exchanges, the rate wouldfall from 3 percent to 2.5 percent.

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CMS also intends to cut drug spending by letting individual,small group and large group insurers to change prescription drugformularies in midyear to encourage members to use lower-costgenerics. The proposed regulation would allow a generic to be addedto the formulary if it becomes available in midyear, as well as toeliminate the brand-name equivalent from the formulary or move itto a different cost-sharing tier. Plan members would have to beprovided with at least 60 days' notice of the change.

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In addition, CMS seeks to end “silver-loading,” the practice by insurers ofloading premium increases into silver-level exchange plans, anaction taken after Trump rescinded cost-sharing reduction paymentsas a means of making up for those missing payments. By addingpremium surcharges to silver plans, insurers were able to increasethe size of the premium tax credits for people whose incomes werebelow 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

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According to Modern Healthcare, the proposed changes apply toACA exchange and individual market insurers, in addition to theinsurers who participate in the small group, large group andself-funded group health plan markets.

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The regulation includes an administration estimate that thegovernment would save approximately $900 million a year onsubsidies, and that 100,000 consumers would drop healthcoverage.

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Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said of the proposed regulation ina statement, “Today's proposed rule deliberately and needlesslyincreases premiums and will result in too many Americans losingaccess to health coverage.” Wyden added, “The Trump administrationcontinues to fan the flames of uncertainty while families pick upthe check.”

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