With ongoing uncertainty around the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the board that oversees California's health care marketplace took action to stabilize the exchange on Thursday. Their goal was to convince insurance companies to continue offering health plans through Covered California.
Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee praised California's overall success as a health care marketplace, but cautioned that the exchange faces significant challenges.
"We think this open enrollment’s going to be the most challenging since year one," Lee said. "We’re dealing with the most federal uncertainty we’ve ever had."
Lee is referring to Congress's attempts to repeal the ACA, and the Trump administration's threats not to pay subsidies to insurance companies, as required under the health care law.
In the meeting, the board unanimously adopted two new resolutions they believe will maintain market stability. The first updates contracts between Covered California and insurance companies, allowing insurers who lose money in 2018 to increase profit margins in the following three years in order to recoup losses. Alternatively, if companies make unforeseen profits because of national uncertainty, those profits would go to reducing premiums in the future.