The Washington Post reports that “The Trump administration is seeking ways to allow more health insurance plans to be sold across state lines — an effort that could involve implementing a part of the Affordable Care Act the Obama administration left untouched.
“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services invited insurers and other stakeholders to give input over the next 60 days on how to “eliminate regulatory, operational and financial barriers to enhance issuers’ ability to sell health insurance coverage across state lines” in a request for informationissued yesterday afternoon.”
The problem, IMHO, is two-fold. Rates vary state to state because different states have different mandated benefits, the people in their pool have varying levels of health, and the costs for healthcare vary greatly state to state.
As an example, a hernia repair in Iowa averages $6900, while in NY it is 15% higher at $7900. Would your insurance bought in another state pay the local usual and customary rate? if so you will have $1000 uncovered, and MD’s might drop the plan due to lower reimbursement rates. OR would they pay the higher rate, therefore having to raise the premiums to cover these higher costs?
And if the rates all rise to meet the more expensive costs of healthcare, what have we accomplished? This is a very complicated topic, and sound bites on the nightly news are not solutions. Our system remains badly broken and in need of a comprehensive solution – one that actually controls costs, doesn’t drive physicians away, provides americans with access to care, and at a reasonable cost.