CMS approves Maine's health insurance waiver: 4 things to know

CMS Administrator Seema Verma approved Maine's Section 1332 waiver July 30, allowing the state to move forward with changes to its ACA individual marketplace.

Here are four things to know:

1. Under the ACA, Section 1332 waivers allow states to opt out of specific requirements of the ACA to implement different health coverage models, as long the models have similarly comprehensive benefits and are as affordable as ACA plans, cover a comparable number of state residents and do not increase the federal deficit.

2. Maine's waiver will allow the state to waive the ACA's requirement for a single risk pool to implement its Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association.

3. CMS determined the reinsurance program, which will run from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2023, will lower premiums for residents purchasing health plans on the state's individual market.

4. The approval comes after CMS greenlighted Wisconsin's Health Care Stability Plan to lower ACA premiums next year. The plan will cost $200 million total, with $34 million paid for by Wisconsin taxpayers and $166 million by federal taxpayers.

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