On August 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent a memorandum to insurers announcing an extension of the deadline by almost three weeks until September 5 for insurers to file their 2018 rate requests.  Insurers are wrestling with whether to participate in the Affordable Care Act exchanges/marketplaces in 2018, and if so, the amount of their rate requests.  The Trump Administration has not yet announced whether it will continue to pay the cost-sharing reduction payments that compensate insurers for reducing deductibles and co-payments for indigent patients.

On August 8, the Health Reform Roundtable, a bipartisan group of health policy experts, released a media statement entitled “A Bipartisan Answer to “What Now?” for Health Reform.”  The authors describe five health policy initiatives that they believe would stabilize individual insurance markets and protect coverage gains.  These policy initiatives are:  (i) extend federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program; (ii) stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges/marketplaces; (iii) implement tools to incentivize individuals to sign up for health insurance; (iv) provide greater flexibility to state governments in designing health programs; and (v) expand access to, and usage of, Health Savings Accounts.

On August 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a five-year extension of the State of Florida’s Managed Medical Assistance Section 1115 Waiver Demonstration.  This Demonstration enables the state to operate a capitated Medicaid managed care program and a low-income pool to provide continuing support for safety net providers that furnish charity care to the uninsured.