The federal government wants to throw insurers selling Obamacare plans a financial bone to make up for another tweak to the controversial health-care reform law.
In 255 pages of documents released Monday, the Health and Human Services Department said it wants to have an insurer-fund pot of money cover more of some insurers' costs related to benefits from Obamacare policies next year. Officials proposed reducing the money insurers pay for each person insured under those plans to fund the reinsurance pot.
An Obama administration official, who asked not to be identified, said insurers might get an extra $2 billion to $3 billion in reinsurance payouts in 2014 under the proposed rule changes, with no net cost to the federal government.
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The changes are being made because of President Barack Obama's recent decision to let insurers choose to continue offering existing customers plans that are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act, which sets certain minimum standards for benefits.
Citi Research equities analyst Carl McDonald issued a report on the changes Tuesday titled, "I am altering the Deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."
Most of the proposed changes "are favorable to insurers," he noted.