10.12.17

Cassidy Commends Trump EO on Health Care

Today, US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) released a statement following President Trump’s Executive Order on health care. The goals of this Executive Order is to provide Americans with more affordable healthcare choices and greater control over their health care decisions.

 

“President Trump is committed to helping the families and businesses harmed by Obamacare. I will continue to work with him on solutions like Graham-Cassidy that will return power back to the patient,” said  Dr. Cassidy. “Premiums are unaffordable for working families, preventing them from getting the coverage they need. With this order, the president is trying to create an opportunity for those folks to have insurance.”

 

President Trump signed the Executive Order to reform the United States health care system to take the first steps to expand choices and alternatives to Obamacare plans and increase competition to bring down costs for consumers.

 

To read a question/answers sheet on the Executive Order, click here.

 

The order directs the Secretary of Labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHPs), which could potentially allow American employers to form groups across State lines.

 

  • A broader interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) could potentially allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together to offer health care coverage to their employees. It could potentially allow employers to form AHPs through existing organizations, or create new ones for the express purpose of offering group insurance.

 

  • By potentially making it easier for employers to band together, workers could have access to a broader range of insurance options at lower rates in the large group market.

 

  • Employers participating in an AHP cannot exclude any employee from joining the plan and cannot develop premiums based on health conditions.

 

The order directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider expanding coverage through low cost short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI).

 

  • STLDI is not subject to costly Obamacare mandates and rules. One study found that on average STLDI costs one-third the price of the cheapest Obamacare plans.

 

  • Despite its low cost, STLDI typically features broad provider networks and high coverage limits.

 

  • The main groups who benefit from STLDI are people between jobs, people in counties with only a single insurer offering exchange plans, people with limited coverage networks, and people who missed the open enrollment period but still want insurance.

 

The order directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider changes to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) so employers can make better use of them for their employees.

 

  • HRAs are employer-funded accounts that reimburse employees for healthcare expenses, including deductibles and copayments.

 

  • The IRS does not count funds contributed to an HRA as taxable income.

 

  • Expanded HRAs could potentially give American workers greater flexibility and control over how to finance their healthcare needs