HHS slashes funding to groups helping ACA consumers enroll by up to 92%

"Navigator groups perform a range of services during the ACA’s annual enrollment season and throughout the year. They help individuals learn which health plans offered on state and federal insurance exchanges would best suit them, walk consumers through the sign-up process and conduct general outreach to communities about how to obtain coverage under the law. The program’s supporters argue that it is particularly critical during the upcoming six-week enrollment period, which is half as long as last year and comes after Republicans’ high-profile attempt to repeal the 2010 health-care law."

Ironically, and perhaps unintentionally, these cuts will hit red states the hardest. The move last month to cut 90% of funds to spur signups for healthcare.gov is likely to lead to fewer young and healthy people in the insurance pool — and thus higher costs in states with majority Trump voters, according to experts. 39 states rely on the federal government and federal insurance exchange in some form; 90% of those are Republican majority states.

The funding cuts, along with the reduced enrollment period, led the CBO to issue its first full update on anticipated government spending on the subsidized individual health insurance program since March 2016.  The CBO now predicts that enrollment on the ACA health insurance exchanges in 2018 and later years is expected to be less than previously forecast. You can read the CBO report here.