Exploring ObamaCare escape hatches

Monday, May 7, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

healthcare costsIt appears a change in regulations may be all we see this year when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. But is that enough to help people facing higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses?

"To a certain extent, yes, regulatory change can offer consumers relief," says Hadley Heath Manning of the Independent Women's Forum (IWF). "The Affordable Care Act limits what states can do in terms of changing some of their regulations, but we're already starting to see some states try to skirt those rules."

Manning points to Iowa as on example.

"By using the term 'health benefit plans,' the farmers bureau has avoided some of the insurance regulations because they're simply not referring to that plan as an insurance plan," she explains. "They're calling it a benefit plan."

Manning

Meanwhile, Manning says the Trump administration is exploring several escape hatches, trying to offer consumers a new set of options that might be appealing to them.

"Short-term limited duration plans are one avenue that they're pursuing," she continues. "They're also trying to roll back some of the regulations insofar as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a say over what every insurance plan has to cover. But again, much of this will hinge on what Congress can do, because, of course, there's only so much change that can happen through the regulatory process. And I do believe the Trump administration deserves credit for exploring multiple avenues to essentially reintroduce some insurance products to the market that disappeared under the ACA and give consumers more choice. Of course we know that greater choices fuel market competition, and that's the best way to pull down prices." 

Speaking last week to the World Health Care Congress, former HHS Secretary and Congressman Tom Price (R-Georgia) said lawmakers are not likely to address ObamaCare until after the November elections. Price went on to say that he thinks changes to regulations in the healthcare law are more likely to happen in the near-term.

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