Health Care

Patients Are Still Playing Games With Obamacare

Regulators are tinkering with rules that help insurers who accept sicker patients. That won't stop the gaming.

Cherry-picking.

Photographer: Mario Proenca/Bloomberg

With insurers pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges, and the remaining plans contracting towards inexpensive Medicaid-style offerings with limited choices of doctors and hospitals, it was a safe bet that regulators would be scrambling to figure out how to stabilize the exchanges. They’ve now stepped in with a sort of early holiday present, releasing their proposed rulemaking for the 2018 marketplaces on Monday, instead of in November. These rules suggest meaningful changes to how the insurance market would operate, especially in its risk-adjustment program.

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