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AP file photo

The Trump administration has released its first big Obamacare rule, and it tightens several rules for enrollment to try to "stabilize" the individual health insurance market.

  • Health insurers could refuse to cover a person who hadn't paid some of their premiums during the past year until they've paid their debts.
  • The open enrollment period for next year will be shorter — it will start on Nov. 1 and end on Dec. 15, rather than lasting for three months.
  • Anyone who tries to sign up outside of the open enrollment period through the federal HealthCare.gov website will have to prove they're eligible to do it.
  • Gives insurers greater flexibility in determining the level of coverage in their plans.
  • States will get to decide whether health insurance plans have adequate networks of doctors and hospitals.

Not included: A proposal that reportedly would have let insurers charge older customers 3.49 times as much as younger ones, rather than the 3 to 1 ratio allowed under the law.

What might be next: The rule says the administration is also thinking of adding new policies to encourage "continuous coverage," like requiring people to prove they've had previous health insurance for at least six to 12 months if they sign up outside of the open enrollment period.

Go deeper

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

5 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.