Trump Broke Constitutional Law by Attacking Obamacare, Lawsuit Says

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Trump Broke Constitutional Law by Attacking Obamacare, Lawsuit Says

Insurers will soon be allowed to sell these policies for just under a year. ACAP has long opposed this ... proposal as an arbitrary and capricious effort to do a regulatory end-run around the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act. Next year, there will be no tax penalty for someone who opts for short-term coverage versus a comprehensive plan, so more people might consider the option. "This move is the lynchpin in Trump's plan to turn back the clock to the days when Americans with pre-existing conditions were left out in the cold and insurance companies could deny care at will or charge whatever they pleased".

"Our hope is folks who are looking at short-term coverage instead of the ACA are doing so with their eyes open", said Sean Malia, senior director of carrier relations with eHealth, a private online insurance marketplace. What was your experience?

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

The plans do not have to meet Obamacare's baseline coverage minimums, so things like prescription drugs or maternity care may not be covered under these plans. They can include dollar limits on coverage and there's no guarantee of renewal. And, unlike Obamacare policies, they don't have to cap consumers' cost-sharing burden at $7,350 for 2018. All have warned that consumers with bare-bones plans would be stranded when they need care - and that the defection of low-priced customers from ACA marketplaces would drive up prices for those who remain.

Last month, the Trump administration released a rule for "association plans" that allow small businesses and sole proprietors to band together and buy coverage that's less expensive than existing options.

Insurer groups warned that the action would result in higher premiums.

Up to now, short-term health insurance has been a niche product, covering people for several months or less than a year.

A major insurer group expressed strong concerns.

"Congress, the Administration, and the states should work to stabilize the individual market - not simply create a parallel market that works only for healthy people", wrote the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a national federation of 36 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it will allow insurers to sell short-term health care plans as a cheaper option to ObamaCare but the policies will not cover maternity care, prescription drug costs or pre-existing conditions. Since these plans are considerably more affordable, more people will be able to insure against medical catastrophes.

"It could cause thousands of families to lose everything they've worked so hard for when they are struck by illness or injury and their health plan does not protect them from financial ruin", the letter to HHS said. "These policies will not necessarily cover the same benefits or extend coverage to the same degree".

The administration estimates that premiums for a short-term plan could be about one-third the cost of comprehensive coverage.

It's unclear how that might happen, since versions of such plans have always been available - including during the Obama administration.

Short-term plans have been around for decades, meant as a stopgap for job changers, students and others who found themselves without coverage. By 2021, enrollment in the individual market will decrease by 1.4 million.

Since Congress failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act a year ago, President Donald Trump has attempted to weaken the program through eliminating protections, discouraging enrollment, and driving up costs, the lawsuit argues.

Federal health officials portray their latest expansion of alternative coverage as a way to make insurance more affordable to middle-class Americans who do not qualify for government subsidies for ACA health plans - especially people who are young or healthy.

That order also spurred the administration to issue a final rule last month aimed at making health insurance cheaper for some small employers.

Brokers will likely be pushing the plans, as they often pay higher commissions than do ACA plans. Such plans can be offered across state lines and are also designed for self-employed people.

Blumenthal also said plans that fail to cover certain benefits "should be barred from the marketplace".

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