As Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate have stumbled in their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Donald Trump moved on Tuesday, Oct. 12, to rollback components of the ACA via executive order.
The order from President seeks to expand the availability of association health plans (AHP), allowing these plans to be purchased across state lines. These plans, once more widely accessible before the implementation of the ACA, allow small businesses to join together to purchase their health care plans. The goal is to give workers access to a broader range of insurance options at lower rates. The executive order also directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider expanding the availability of short-term insurance plans. It is anticipated that these changes would benefit younger, healthier employees, who would pay less for slimmer health care options. However, premiums likely would rise for older adults and those with pre-existing conditions.
While final details of the policy shift remain-to-be-seen, agencies will now begin drafting rules to comply with the President’s order. It is unlikely that these plan options will be available for purchase prior to the start of 2018.
Also on Oct. 12, the Trump administration issued a statement indicating that it will immediately discontinue the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments authorized by the ACA for issuers of qualified health plans.
Photo: President Donald Trump signs an executive order “to make it easier for businesses to help their workers afford high-quality and more flexible health care.” White House, Oct. 12, 2017.