Trump Administration Acts on CAHC Recommendations to Streamline Enrollment Process on Healthcare Exchanges

WASHINGTON, DC (May 17, 2017): Today, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations –  applauded the Trump Administration’s announced policy change streamlining enrollment for individuals who wish to participate in subsidy eligible health coverage through private exchanges. The move allows consumers to enroll for health coverage using a single website outside of Healthcare.gov, ending the so-called “double redirect” that required users who seek enrollment assistance from private web-based entities (WBEs) to leave the WBE site, complete an eligibility determination on HealthCare.gov, and then return to the WBE’s site to finish the enrollment process.

CAHC urged the administration to implement such changes earlier this year, writing in a March 17th letter to HHS Secretary Price and then-Acting CMS Administrator Patrick Conway that “The convoluted [enrollment] process may also lead many consumers to believe they have completed enrollment even if they have not. Case studies have estimated that 69 percent of consumers facing the double redirect fail to complete eligibility determination and enrollment . . . WBEs should be allowed to enroll consumers and host eligibility applications on their websites without the forced double redirect. The increased enrollment likely to result from this change can help to shore up risk pools with significantly less cost to taxpayers.”  
 
CAHC further coordinated with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2) on a second letter to the administration echoing these concerns which can be read here. CAHC Executive Director Katie Allen released the following statement welcoming the administration’s decision:
 
“The Affordable Care Act presents enough challenges of its own without the previous administration’s needlessly complicated enrollment process adding to the confusion. We are pleased that the Trump Administration is acting on our recommendations to untie the hands of consumers by allowing them to choose where they want to enroll in subsidy eligible coverage,” said CAHC Executive Director Katie Allen. “The previous policies depended too much on faulty, government-run exchanges, which led to low exchange enrollment levels throughout the country. By removing Healthcare.gov’s monopoly on enrollments and allowing space for other alternatives to thrive, the administration has taken a small but meaningful step towards putting consumers back in charge of their healthcare decisions.”
 
The Trump Administration’s policy change follows an earlier announcement from the administration outlining changes to scale back the role of Healthcare.gov in the Affordable Care Act’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which CAHC also supported. See CAHC’s previous statement on that decision here.

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About the Council for Affordable Health Coverage
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage.