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Trump administration paves way for interstate health insurance sales

Trump administration paves way for interstate health insurance sales

"Expanding and extending short-term, limited-duration health plans, increasing enrollment in Association Health Plans (AHPs), and relaxing rules for employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) all increase adverse selection in insurance markets that serve millions of individuals and employers", said the December 14 letter the groups sent to the State Departments of Insurance. Under this regulation, health coverage sponsored by an employer association would be treated as a large group health plan that can then purchase coverage away from the ACA markets.

"Individual markets may be more susceptible to risk selection than small group markets, as individuals' costs generally vary more widely than small groups'", the rule states. "And by the way, and for that, we've ended 'across state lines.' So we have competition".

The rule also aimed to expand access to AHPs for individuals.

These included the formation of association health plans, short-term, limited duration insurance and health reimbursement arrangements.

One of the top areas of concern is essential health benefits-the provision of the Affordable Care Act that forces nearly all health insurance plans to cover basic services like emergency room visits and prescription drugs.

Georgetown University professors Kevin Lucia, MHP, and Sabrina Corlette wrote in October 2017 that similar provisions would create an "uneven playing field" between AHPs and other markets, while undermining consumer protections from the ACA.

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The amended definition is needed, the administration says, because current regulations on AHPs are too costly and complex.

And because the rule was drafted in the fall of 2017, before Republicans axed Obamacare's individual mandate in their tax bill, it ironically includes a section noting that the presence of the now-repealed individual mandate will help mitigate the damage and expected premium increases caused by the new rule. "Allowing insurers to sell narrow, low-priced health plans likely will cause significant economic harm to women and older, sicker Americans who stand to face higher-cost and fewer insurance options".

The Department of Labor (DoL) released a proposed rule that allows small businesses and employee groups to purchase association health plans (AHPs) in lieu of employer-sponsored or individual health insurance.

"For the past year, I have worked with the President and his administration to dramatically increase the availability of health care while at the same time decrease the costs", Sen.

"Conservative health-care reform is alive and well, and I will keep working with President Trump to build on this progress", he said in a statement.

Senate health and labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said "the Department of Labor's proposed health insurance rule could make insurance available to 11 million self-employed or small business employees-like farmers, or songwriters, or small businessmen and women-who today are priced out of our health insurance system".


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