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Feds OK Alaska Affordable Care Act Waiver Plan

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The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it has granted Alaska a waiver from the usual Affordable Care Act individual health insurance market rules.

The waiver will let Alaska use some federal cash to fund a state reinsurance program aimed at helping plans pay for the cost of covering enrollees with costly health problems, such as kidney disease serious enough to require the regular use of kidney dialysis.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department used the Affordable Care Act Section 1332 waiver program provision to grant Alaska the waiver.

(Related: Price Reboots ACA Reboot Program)

The Affordable Care Act Section 1332 provision gives states the right to ask for waivers from some Affordable Care Act rules.

In December, the administration of former President Barack Obama granted a Section 1332 waiver application filed by Hawaii. The administration let Hawaii eliminate the small-group public exchange division at its Affordable Care Act public exchange. Hawaii is using the federal money that could have gone toward the small-group tax credit program, which was rarely used in Hawaii, to fund a state program that helps small employers pay for health coverage.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has posted waiver program documents, including the Alaska approval letter, here.

— Read Obama Administration OKs Hawaii ACA Waiver Program on ThinkAdvisor.