New York Times: Trump Clears Way for Health Plans With Lower Costs and Fewer Benefits

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New York Times: Trump Clears Way for Health Plans With Lower Costs and Fewer Benefits

Millions of Americans are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, gaining quality healthcare at a reasonable cost. But this administration has chosen to spend much of their time sabotaging the law.

Now, the Trump administration is issuing a rule making it easier for small businesses to create health insurance plans that will cost less—but provide fewer benefits. For instance, they might not have to provide certain essential benefits like mental healthcare, emergency services, or maternity care.

These plans would be a mistake. They could drive up premiums for those with serious health issues, not to mention that plans like these have a history of fraud and abuse. As Sherrod says, we need to be strengthening the Affordable Care Act, not making it harder for Americans to get the care they need. If you agree, show your support:

New York Times: Trump Clears Way for Health Plans With Lower Costs and Fewer Benefits

Robert Pear – June 18

Key points:

  • The Trump administration is poised to issue a rule that makes it easier for small businesses to band together to create health insurance plans that skirt many requirements of the Affordable Care Act, offering lower costs but also fewer benefits.
  • The new entities would be exempt from many of the consumer protections mandated by the Affordable Care Act. They may, for example, not have to provide certain “essential health benefits” like mental health care, emergency services, maternity and newborn care and prescription drugs.
  • Consumer groups, state officials and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans have long opposed such ideas. They say association health plans will tend to attract employers with younger, healthier workers, leaving behind sicker people in more comprehensive, more expensive plans that fully comply with the Affordable Care Act.
  • That could drive up premiums, which have increased as Mr. Trump and Republicans in Congress have undercut many elements of the law.
  • People with serious illnesses like cancer could face “ever-increasing premiums for comprehensive coverage,” said Chris Hansen, the president of the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society.
  • Similar health plans have a history of fraud and abuse that have left employers and employees with hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid medical bills. The problems are described in dozens of court cases and enforcement actions taken over more than a decade by federal and state officials.

Read more here.