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Murray: New Trump Administration Health Rule “Open Invitation” For Insurers to Charge More and Skirt Patient Protections

HHS rulemaking on benefits and payments issued today; will allow insurers to undermine essential health benefits, hike rates


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee issued the following statement on the proposed benefit and payment guidelines released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


With this new rule, President Trump has issued an open invitation for insurance companies to raise premiums, skirt patient protections, and undermine families’ care. I’m very concerned about what these dramatic, harmful changes in policy could mean for women who don’t want to pay more than men for health care, for people with pre-existing conditions, for those struggling with mental illness and substance use, and for millions of peoples’ health costs. Republicans in Congress should join Democrats in condemning the President Trump’s latest politically-motivated effort to raise families’ costs and create health care chaos.”




The final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters would:

  • Open the door to less comprehensive coverage of the essential health benefits, including maternity care, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment.
  • Water down the requirement that plans use a minimum percentage of premiums towards actual enrollee medical costs (known as the minimum Medical Loss Ratio).
  • Increase the threshold for regulatory review of premium increases from 10 percent to 15 percent, which lowers regulatory review of large premium increases.
  • Weakens federal oversight of network adequacy requirements.
  • Undermine the navigator program and end the requirement that consumers have access to face-to-face enrollment assistance.