Wednesday, October 25, 2017

President’s Executive Order Paves the Way for the Creation of New Health Care Plans


President Trump issued an executive order earlier this month that would allow federal agencies to propose new guidance and reduce existing restrictions on so-called association health plans and on selling lower cost short-term insurance.
The President’s order is also intended to facilitate the sale of health insurance across state lines. In addition, the executive order will expand the availability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) by allowing employers to create tax advantaged accounts for employees to foster flexibility and choice regarding healthcare. 
The order sets varying time-frames for the Secretaries of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services to consider proposing regulations implementing the President’s order.  
According to Kaiser Health News, it is unlikely that the order will have any impact on the 2018 health plan enrollment year given the short time between the end of the current plan year and the sweeping changes called for in the executive order.
Association health plans are not a new concept and have both supporters and critics.  Supporters point to the ability to offer lower cost policies to more individuals and will likely benefit younger, healthier individuals. Critics point out the past solvency problems of association health plans and state that much of the savings from these plans comes from not covering benefits such as prescription drugs, chemotherapy and office visits. 
Regardless of the debate over the President’s order, it is clear that changes are coming to the health benefits arena. AHCA/NCAL will continue to keep members apprised as regulations are promulgated and finalized. 
Employers currently renewing their employee health benefit plan should choose a plan that is ACA compliant. AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions was created to help members save money on their employee benefit plans.
To explore your health plan options available through AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions, contact Dave Kyllo at 202-898-6312 or Nick Cianci at (202-898-2841) or email us at ahcainsurancesolutions@ahca.org.

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