Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare

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Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare

Even though at least one of the companies providing Affordable Care Act insurance in IN temporarily saves money from a recent Trump administration move, company officials say the decision create more questions about the future of health coverage for Hoosiers. Insurers are already saying the decision will force them to set their premiums even higher in 2019 to make up for this uncertainty, which is likely to price more people out of the market.

Since then, the Department of Labor has issued a rule to broaden the use of one such kind of insurance, called "association health plans".

The president last fall issued an executive order to try to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to buy health plans that cost less than ACA coverage because they cover fewer services and bypass rules meant to protect people from previous practices in which insurers charged higher prices to women, older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The plan would replace federal payments to insurance companies with block grants to states, allowing states to "innovate" by providing low-cost, low-benefit plans.

"President Trump indicated his support for the plan the day after its publication, tweeting: "...on conservative health plan: "'The White House fully supports the efforts of the broad coalition from around the country working to address the Obamacare disaster and increase affordable healthcare options for middle-class Americans'". He said most independent brokers want nothing to do with ACA plans because insurers have cut their commissions.

Rumors that the Trump administration would freeze payments were circulating late last week.

Now, months later, CMS has asked the New Mexico judge to reconsider the decision, and in the meantime, it suspended the program.

The announcement also said navigators helped enroll fewer than 1 percent of the almost 12 million Americans who signed up for ACA coverage for 2018 - a figure that navigators contend understates their accomplishments.

In listing examples of the kinds of groups eligible to apply for the money that remains, the CMS did not mention the grass-roots nonprofits that have done most of this work.

But as the ACA's sixth open-enrollment period under the health law approaches in November, the lack of in-person assistance is unlikely to be a disaster for people seeking coverage, insurance and health experts say.

The latest "Obamacare" flare-up does not affect most people with employer coverage.

By the way, this rule was propagated by the Obama Administration, not President Trump. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27 percent of people under the age of 65 have what could be considered a pre-existing condition. "There is a need to analyze insurers case-by-case and account for their competitive landscapes", said Tinglong Dai, an associate professor of operations management and business analytics at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. John McCain, R-Ariz., cast a crucial "no" vote, with a thumbs down gesture that's become a target of Trump criticism at campaign-style rallies. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that will raise premiums by about 10 percent. But premiums for people who buy individual coverage and are not eligible for ACA subsidies have continued rising by double digits.

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