Trump administration reinstates risk adjustment payments to health insurers.
July 25, 2018
Trump administration reinstates risk adjustment payments to health insurers. The administration announced Tuesday night that they would begin to pay insurers once again for “risk adjustment,” the 10.4 billion dollars in payments go toward helping insurers cover disproportionately sick and costly enrollees. The administration was accused of attempting to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by ending the payments, and their statement on the reversal included language emphasizing insurers’ fears that, without the funds, they may become insolvent or need to pull out of certain counties. [The Hill]
Senate panel approves legislation to end pharmacy gag rule. The Senate health committee approved a bill banning “gag rule” which prevents pharmacists from telling patients if they could save money by paying for prescriptions in cash, rather than paying the co-pay and purchasing drugs through insurance. The bill was introduced by Senator Susan Collins of Maine and is one of several legislative and executive proposals being floated that would reduce the cost of prescription drugs. [The Hill]
Mortgage demand continues to decline. Mortgage applications fell again last week, decreasing and additional 0.2%, with volume 12.6% lower than this time last year. Housing, especially affordable homes, are in short supply, and first-time home buyers are encountering high prices and few choices. Refinancing is also down from a year ago on higher interest rates, with a 30% reduction in the number of refinancing options compared to this time one year ago. Average interest rates have remained roughly the same for fixed 30-year mortgages with conforming loan balances, at 4.77%. [CNBC]