Tag Archives: Trump

Federal Judge Upholds Trump Short-term medical plans

A federal judge on Friday upheld the Trump administration’s expansion of health insurance plans that don’t meet ObamaCare’s coverage requirements. 

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington ruled against the insurance companies that sued the administration in an attempt to block the rules. 

“Not only is any potential negative impact from the 2018 rule minimal, but its benefits are undeniable,” Leon wrote about the regulations. 

The plans aims to “minimize the harm and expense” for individuals who might otherwise decide not to purchase insurance because of high premiums, Leon added. 

The Trump administration issued a regulation last year allowing short-term health care plans to last up to 12 months instead of three. These plans were originally intended as an option for individuals who need to bridge a gap in health insurance coverage. 

Washington Targetting Drugmakers?

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday scrapped one of its most ambitious proposals for lowering prescription medicine prices, backing down from a policy aimed at health insurers and raising the possibility of new measures focused on drugmakers.

The abandoned proposal would have required health insurers to pass on billions of dollars in rebates they receive from drugmakers to Medicare patients.

The decision represents a new setback to U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to deliver on a pledge to lower drug prices for consumers before the November, 2020 elections, when Republicans want to capitalize on voter concern over high healthcare costs.

It allows companies like Cigna Corp and CVS Health Corp, which negotiate rebates with drugmakers on behalf of the government’s Medicare program, to continue to benefit from those discounts.

Will Congress vote away pre-existing exclusions?

From AP 6/14/18, click here for full story

The media  has grasped onto recent Trump administration statements as being aimed at pre-existing conditions.  At issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision that the Justice Department will no longer defend key parts of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act in court. That includes the law’s unpopular requirement to carry health insurance, but also widely supported provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers.”

The truth here is that it is unlikely that anyone would want to go back to being stuck in a job because of medical coverage.  The truth here is that the law has many interlocking parts, so allowing one piece to be abolished may have other consequences (Kind of lick all decisions we make as humans!).

It appears that the administration is refusing to defend parts of the law related to mandated employer coverages.  While large employers would have no problem, it could affect employers with less than 50 employees IF such a change was ever made.  IF such a change was made – the courts threw out a section that affected it, it would be a simple thing for Congress to fix it.  Based on track record on other simple issues, however, this writer IMHO doubts they could get over their partisan paralysis and get much of anything done.

 

Lower-cost, lower coverage plans coming?

In an article on Fox News (click here for the full article), the Trump administration proposed allowing insurers to sell 12-month long “short term medical plans.”  These used to be available, at a much lower pricing point, but the Obama Administration eliminated them for the most past.

Considering the increasing numbers of clients I speak to who are dropping coverage, or going without, because of the high premiums, this may be a very popular option.

“We need to be opening up more affordable alternatives,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters. “It’s one step in the direction of providing Americans with alternatives that are both more affordable and more suited to individual and family circumstances.”

 

So what, exactly, did Trump eliminate on the Subsidies?

The President, in signing an executive order this past week, stopped all payments for Cost-sharing Subsidies.  Now, in a language most of you can understand:

  1.  This does not eliminate subsidies.  The Government is continuing to pay these and apparently will continue
  2. “Cost-sharing Subsidies” are only received by those on Silver plans below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level
  3. The plans are already filed and pre-approved.  Enrollees will continue to receive the same benefits as the contracts are not being changed.
  4. The Insurance company is not being paid their portion of the cost-sharing subsidies.

So in the end this affects the Insurance Carriers but not the enrolled person.  Many Insurance Carriers have already increased their premiums for 2018, based on warnings by the States that this would happen.  So in the end it may not mean much, except we all know the premiums are going up for 2018.

 

MEANWHILE – back in court, Attorney GEnerals in more than a dozen states, led by NY and CA, filed suit to get an injunction and prevent this from happening.  Given the recent rulings by these courts it is likely that they will win, at least temporarily.  It also seems to have stimulated Congress to discuss this, and perhaps even try and fix it.  At the center of the move is the argument that this is an expense that Congress never authorized.

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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