Trump advisor hears Blues’ ACA market stability proposal

A look at how the health care system might change, again

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association rep told federal regulators that they believe the cost-sharing reduction program promotes individual health market stability. (Image: Thinkstock) Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association rep told federal regulators that they believe the cost-sharing reduction program promotes individual health market stability. (Image: Thinkstock)

The Trump administration sent one of its original health policy transition advisors, Marie Meszaros, to a meeting with representatives from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association on stabilizing the individual health insurance market.

Related: Meszaros, Brooks join Trump HHS shaper team

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent a draft Affordable Care Act market stabilization executive order to the Office of Management and Budget for regulatory review Feb. 1.

The Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association asked for a meeting on the proposed executive order, and OMB, an arm of the Executive Office of the President, held the meeting Monday, according to the OMB tracking system.

The tracking system shows that the attendees from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association were two vice presidents, Justine Handelman and Kris Haltmeyer.

Related: 3 ways the ACA data filing mess makes insurers want to SCREAM

The Trump administration sent at least 13 representatives, including Meszaros.

Meszaros has been a policy analyst at the Washington-based Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Much earlier in her career, she was the health information privacy compliance officer for a group medical practice.

A packet of documents posted on the OMB site showed that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan reps told Trump administration officials about regulations that call for carriers to start filing rates for 2018 by April.

The reps also talked about their views on the role of the ACA cost-sharing reduction subsidy program on promoting individual health insurance market stability. The program helps ACA exchange plan users with family income under 250 percent of the federal poverty level pay their deductibles, coinsurance amounts and co-payments. The Blues' map shows that many of the recipients of that subsidy are in Florida and other southeastern states.

Republicans in Congress have questioned whether the administration of the former President Barack Obama received approval from Congress to make cost-sharing reduction program payments to the exchange plan issuers.

Related:

CMS seeks bids for Trump’s first Medicare plan menu

Court: Two ACA subsidy users who fear Trump can’t join lawsuit

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