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techkenyot.com August 18, 2018


Trump restores rules allowing Obamacare alternatives with pared down 'short term' coverage

04 August 2018, 11:40 | Silvia Roy

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Critics say the plans undermine the health law. Federal officials said they anticipate a slow take-up, not sweeping changes.

"To that end, President Trump and his Administration are deliberately trying to make the Act fail", the complaint continues.

Also, short-term plans don't have to offer comprehensive coverage.

Some policy experts, including those from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University, warn that allowing increased use of the skimpier coverage offered by short-term plans could leave some patients in financial or medical difficulty.

According to estimates, the administration said short-term plan premiums could be about a third of the cost of comprehensive coverage - about $160 a month or even less. They can include dollar limits on coverage.

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In the lawsuit, the cities cite both the President's open promises to let Obamacare "implode" as well as his administration's actions to make that happen -from the termination of enrollment partnerships with hundreds of local and national groups, to abruptly ending subsidies to insurers, to scuttling efforts by Congress to pass a market stabilization bill, to the evisceration of the budget for outreach and in-person assisters. Three-quarters of respondents to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll said it is "very important" that Obamacare's rule prohibiting insurers from denying coverage due to a person's medical history remains law, while almost that many feel the same way about banning insurers from charging sick people higher rates.

Up to now, short-term health insurance has been a niche product, covering people for several months or less than a year.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY is vowing to do everything in his power to block the administration.

"These policies are different from those offered on the exchange", said James Parker, senior advisor to Health Secretary Alex Azar.

Some in the industry say they're developing "next generation" short-term plans that will be more responsive to consumer needs, with pros and cons clearly spelled out. That would allow insurers to keep marketing the plans, instead of throwing the entire regulation into doubt.

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DE insurance broker Nick Moriello said consumers should carefully consider their choice.

The lawsuit said that rule lacked adequate justification and violated the text of the Affordable Care Act itself. "This move is the lynchpin in Trump's plan to turn back the clock to the days when Americans with pre-existing conditions were left out in the cold and insurance companies could deny care at will or charge whatever they pleased".

'It's a way better alternative to not being insured, ' said Jeff Smedsrud of Pivot Health.

Smedsrud said most plans restrict coverage for those who have sought treatment for a pre-existing condition over the past five years. In June, the administration released final rules on association health plans, which grants greater leeway to small businesses and sole proprietors to join together to purchase insurance that doesn't have to meet all the ACA's requirements, although AHP plans are more robust than short-term plans. The administration says it expects about 1.6 million people to pick a short-term plan when the plans are fully phased in.

Enrollment for the law's subsidized private insurance is fairly stable, and HealthCare.gov insurers are making money again.

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