Trump will make key ObamaCare subsidy payments in August

A White House spokesperson said Wednesday President Donald Trump will make key ObamaCare subsidy payments next month, while he makes a final decision about the ultimate future of the payments.

Continue Reading Below

Insurers are scheduled to receive their next round of subsidy payments on Aug. 21 and have asked the federal government for $8 billion in cost-sharing reduction payments for the coming year. As of now, the government is making funding decisions on a month-to-month basis.

The final deadline for insurers to file rate requests or adjustments for 2018 in many states was pushed back to September, as uncertainty over both health care policy and the future of the key ObamaCare subsidy payments unnerves health companies deciding whether to continue offering plans on the federal marketplace and what to charge for them.

Trump threatened to let ObamaCare “implode” by eliminating funding for the key payments after Republicans in the Senate failed to pass a measure to repeal parts of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law late last month.

Cost-sharing reduction subsidies have been a big focal point for insurers looking to gauge costs and ObamaCare participation levels for the coming year. One of the nation’s largest insurers, Anthem (NYSE:ANTM), warned last month that without certainty regarding these payments, it could be forced to narrow its participation on the exchanges even further. In the weeks since Anthem issued that warning, it announced its withdrawal from the ObamaCare marketplace in Nevada and a dramatic reduction of participation in Georgia.

Insurers now have until Sept. 5 to submit their final premium requests and until Sept. 27 to sign final contracts for next year’s plans.