Monday, 24 September, 2018


Four Cities' Lawsuit Calls Trump Efforts To Undermine 'Obamacare' Unconstitutional

The Trump administration unveiled a rule to allow more use of short-term health insurance. These plans are less expensive but can deny coverage. Experts say the plans may appeal to healthier adults who don't need coverage for a chronic disease but Four Cities' Lawsuit Calls Trump Efforts To Undermine 'Obamacare' Unconstitutional
Patty Aguilar | 06 August, 2018, 10:28

Four cities have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the president is violating constitutional law by following through on his promise to "let Obamacare implode".

It's not clear CT consumers will be able to purchase the plans. Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a prepared statement, "We remain concerned that consumers who rely on short-term plans for an extended time period will face high medical bills when they need care that isn't covered or exceed their coverage limits".

A return to the pre-ACA days of health insurance is a return to the days of lifetime and annual limits on coverage.

The rule released on Wednesday makes the short-term plans available for a duration of up to a year, and insurers can make the plans renewable for as long as three years.

This is pure politics, It overlooks the nature of the plans: they are short-term plans, not for everybody (this is not the plan you would purchase if you have a pre-existing condition), and they fill a niche. He and his wife were paying close to $2,200 each month for an insurance plan with a high deductible, so they started looking into short-term coverage this year.

"If you get cancer, your plan will not cover oncology drugs, which can cost an average of $10,000 a month" and "if you are pregnant, you will have to find another way to pay for the cost", averaging about $32,000 for prenatal care and delivery, the center said in a recent post.

He cited a Health and Human Services Department study that said that average premiums for individual market insurance rose 105 percent from 2013 to 2107 under the Affordable Care Act. "These plans aren't for everyone, but they can provide a much more affordable option for millions of the forgotten men and women left out by the current system". They predict about 600,000 people will enroll in a short-term plan in 2019, with 100,000 to 200,000 of those dropping ACA coverage to do so.

"Health insurance should be available and affordable for everyone, regardless of their health status".

Pennsylvania's insurance regulator said some consumers complained about services that weren't covered, based on fine print in plan policies.

Aetna, headquartered in Hartford, was more supportive of the administration's plan. "It will undermine Americans' access to affordable coverage, particularly those who need medical care the most".

The Trump administration says it's clearing the way for health insurers to sell short-term plans as a low-priced alternative to pricey Obama-law policies for people struggling with high premiums. But the policies for individuals have no guarantees of coverage for existing medical conditions and come with limited benefits.

"Consumers should be assured that insurers will not deny claims for current medical care based exclusively on medical treatment received years earlier", Aetna said.

Previously, under the Affordable Care Act, short-term plans were limited to three months.

In the months since the idea surfaced, it has elicited a wall of opposition from the health insurance industry, hospitals and patient advocacy groups.

"To that end, President Trump and his Administration are deliberately trying to make the Act fail", the complaint continues. Federal regulations for association health plans have been approved.

The new rule stems from an executive order President Donald Trump signed in October aimed at boosting competition, giving consumers more choices and lowering premiums. These plans would likely have lower premiums, but they would also provide fewer benefits - which could leave sicker and older workers out in the cold.

Supporters of the new rules say the short-term plans won't affect the ACA market as much as critics fear because the plans will mainly appeal to those consumers already sitting on the sidelines, or those who don't get a subsidy. They can also deny coverage outright based on pre-existing conditions, refuse to cover any treatment for a pre-existing condition, or find ways to rescind your policy after you've incurred a claim.

Administration officials said that the plans will contain notices urging consumers to read their policies carefully so they are aware of any exclusions or limitations regarding coverage of pre-existing conditions or health benefits, such as hospitalization, preventative care or prescription drugs.

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