States Sue Trump Over Free Market Health Plans

States sue Trump to stop market based health plans

| Les Masterson, Health Care Dive, July 30, 2018 – Attorneys general from 11 states and Washington, D.C. are suing the Trump administration in hopes of putting the brakes on association health plan expansion.

Dive Brief:

Expanding AHPs is a key plank in President Donald Trump’s healthcare platform, but critics call the plans “junk insurance” that will sidestep Affordable Care Act regulations.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed two bills last week that look to lower restrictions on health savings accounts (HSAs).

Dive Insight:

Trump, who repeatedly calls the ACA a “disaster,” said AHPs and allowing anyone to get catastrophic health insurance will offer flexibility and reduce health insurance costs.

In announcing the final rule last month, the Department of Labor said the regulation included anti-discrimination protections similar to those for large employers. It also allows states to regulate AHPs.

Though supportive of those protections, AHP critics are still concerned about the plans.

They charge that AHPs will offer fewer consumer protections, lead to higher premiums in individual and small-group markets and result in fraudulent companies in the AHP market.

Tempting people with lower-cost offerings, AHPs and catastrophic plans could cause millions to flee the ACA exchanges. A recent report from the Society of Actuaries predicted between 3% and 10% of those in ACA marketplace plans will leave for AHPs.

Those people are more likely to be young and healthy. Leaving the marketplace plans will result in an unstable risk pool with higher premiums in the exchanges.

A recent report from Avalere predicted individual rates would increase by between 2.7% and 4% and small group by between 0.1% and 1.9% with AHP expansion … Read the full story at Health Care Dive

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