Feb 15, 2017

Trump administration tightens Obamacare enrollment rules

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

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.