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

JPMorgan Chase to pull support for some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health