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The AARP says it would consider suing the Trump administration if it went forward with a regulation that would allow insurers to charge older people more under ObamaCare.
The Department of Health and Human Services is in the process of putting forward a regulation on “stabilization” of the ObamaCare marketplaces, and The Huffington Post reported on Monday that one proposal in the regulation is to change the ratio set out under ObamaCare on how much more insurers can charge older people compared to younger people.
Right now, the ratio is at 3:1, meaning insurers can charge older people, who tend to have higher health costs, three times as much in premiums as younger people. Insurers have long been pushing to loosen up that requirement and allow for charging older people more.
The Huffington Post reported that the Trump administration is considering a regulation to change the ratio to 3.49:1, under the theory that 3.49 still “rounds down” to three and therefore follows the law.
But the AARP, which opposes efforts to allow insurers to charge older people more, says such a move would violate the clear text of the Affordable Care Act, and would consider suing to stop the change.
The organization would “consider litigation” if the administration goes through with the proposal, AARP legislative counsel David Certner told The Hill on Tuesday.
Republicans in Congress are also considering a legislative change to the age ratio, which would allow for a bigger change to the rules, such as making the ratio 5:1. The AARP sent a letter to Congress this month opposing that change.
Some experts think the move would help stabilize the ObamaCare marketplaces by improving insurer finances and preventing more companies from dropping out and reducing choices for people.
While the details are not yet clear on the administration’s regulation, it is notable that the administration could be taking steps to try to stabilize the ObamaCare marketplaces, even as it also works to repeal the law.
Several other changes that are also beneficial to insurers are also being considered, including tightening up the rules for extra sign-up periods and reducing the “grace period” before people lose their coverage if they fail to pay premiums.