Rethinking Reinsurance: Study Illuminates Tradeoffs of Popular Waivers

While reinsurance programs have become popular among states hoping to stabilize their individual insurance markets, a new study makes a compelling case that the premium reductions attributed to such programs may not be as helpful as they seem.

States can apply for and implement reinsurance programs via Section 1332 waivers, which allow them to waive certain Affordable Care Act rules in order to test marketplace innovations — provided they adhere to strict guardrails. Reinsurance works by subsidizing insurers’ highest-cost claims, allowing them to charge lower premiums overall.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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