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Trump continues ACA cuts — Slashes navigator budget by nearly $27M

President Donald Trump's administration is making major cuts to funding for groups that help Americans select ACA health plans or direct those with low incomes toward Medicaid, The Washington Post reports.

CMS announced the reduction July 10, days after health officials announced the suspension of risk adjustment payments that were required under the ACA.

Here's what you should know:

1. The groups, known as navigators, operate with annual grants in 34 states that depend on the ACA's federal insurance exchange. Funding for navigators will drop from $36.8 million to $10 million for the enrollment period beginning in November.

2. The administration will also expect the groups to promote health plans that cost less than ACA coverage. The plans cover fewer services and bypass rules meant to prevent insurers from charging higher prices to women, the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.

3. CMS' announcement said "the need for federally funded navigators has diminished" and insisted consumers should rely more on private sector insurance agents, brokers and insurers to purchase coverage.

4. CMS listed chambers of commerce, small businesses, trade associations and faith-based organizations as examples of the groups eligible to apply for the remaining funding.

5. In August 2017, federal health officials said they'd cut navigators' aid by 41 percent and slash the budget for ACA advertising and enrollment outreach by 90 percent.


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