Will president’s Executive Order on healthcare affect Central Virginia?

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thursday the President signed an executive order halting federal reimbursements to insurance companies to help subsidize payments for low-income patients signed up under the Affordable Care Act.

“This will cost the United States government virtually nothing, and people will have great, great health care,” said President Donald Trump.

Governor Terry McAuliffe slammed the move, calling it a “deliberate attempt to sabotage the insurance market” and said, “this order will target the most vulnerable Americans.”

“In Virginia, fortunately, we’re not going to see a huge impact,” said Jill Hanken with the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Hanken helps sign people up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She says their office is getting a lot of questions.

“People are quite confused. There are a lot of people who think the affordable care act no longer exists,” said Hanken.

She says about 60 percent of the people under ACA, over 200,000 patients that have the lowest incomes, benefit from what’s called cost-sharing reductions.

“As far as consumers are concerned the cost-sharing reduction plans are still in place,” said Hanken.

But Hanken says in anticipation of this move, insurance companies in Virginia had already raised premiums for middle and upper-income customers to offset losing federal reimbursements.

“That’s why we saw major increases in premiums from Virginia’s health plans,” said Hanken.

She says the only customers that may see an increase in premiums are those that have insurance through Kaiser Permanente.

Hanken says if you have any questions you can contact her office by calling their toll free number at 1-888-392-5132 or email info@enroll-virginia.com.

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