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Executive Order on Health Insurance Across State Lines Summary Materials

Thursday, October 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: MaryBeth Wilkerson
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Attached please find Administration summary materials regarding the President's Executive Order to be released today to direct the Secretary of Labor to "consider expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHPs)."  President Trump states the goal of the Executive Order is to enable "Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care."   Per the summary, the Labor Department's 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 healthcare coverage to their employees," and could "potentially allow employers to form AHPs through existing organizations, or create new ones for the express purpose of offering group insurance."

The Order also directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) to "consider expanding coverage through low cost short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI)" that is not subject to Affordable Care Act "mandates and rules."  In addition, the Order directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS to "consider changes to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) so employers can make better use of them for their employees."

Click here to read about the stateline and other reforms.

Click here to read the Executive Order's key messages.

Click here to see the health care EO graph.

Attached please find a White House Press Release and Remarks by President Donald Trump regarding his signing of an Executive Order "to reform the United States healthcare system to take the first steps to expand choices and alternatives to Obamacare plans and increase competition to bring down costs for consumers."  The Executive Order:  (1) "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;" (2) "directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services [HHS] to consider expanding coverage through low cost short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI);" and (3) "directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and [HHS] to consider changes to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) so employers can make better use of them for their employees."

The President noted that today's action "is only the beginning. In the coming months, we plan to take new measures to provide our people with even more relief and more freedom."  He added that the Administration is "going to also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and the replace of Obamacare once and for all."

Other highlights from the President's remarks include the following:

The Executive Order "directs the Department of Health and Human Services, the Treasury, and the Department of Labor to take action to increase competition, increase choice, and increase access to lower-priced, high-quality healthcare options. And they will have so many options. This will cost the United States government virtually nothing, and people will have great, great healthcare. And when I say people, I mean by the millions and millions."

"I'm also directing Secretary Acosta to consider ways to expand these associations and these healthcare plans all across state lines. This will create tremendous competition and transformative -- in so many ways -- change aimed at creating more and lower prices for millions of Americans."

"...the competition will be staggering. Insurance companies will be fighting to get every single person signed up, and you will be hopefully negotiating, negotiating, negotiating, and you'll get such low prices for such great care. Should have been done a long time ago, and it could have been done a long time ago."

"This will allow thousands of small business employers to have the same purchasing power as large employers to get more affordable and generous insurance options for their workers."

"...[the] administration will explore how we can expand something called short-term limited duration insurance. These health insurance policies are not subject to any very expansive and expensive Obamacare coverage mandates and rules.... So we're going to have a very widely available plan that's going to cost much less."

"Finally, today's executive order instructs Secretaries Acosta, Mnuchin, and Hargan to explore how they can allow more businesses to use tax-free health reimbursement arrangements or HRAs to compensate their employees for their healthcare expenses. Currently, only about one-third of small business employees receive coverage at work, forcing millions of workers to enroll in the exchanges or remain uninsured and to pay the individual mandate penalty .... That is one of the most unpopular things I've ever seen in government...."

Click here to read the full press release.


This update was brought to you by The Coalition of State Medical Societies exclusively for LSMS members.

Representing physicians from coast-to-coast, the Coalition of State Medical Societies comprises 10 state medical associations with more than 180,000 physician and medical student members. Our collective challenges are to improve our system by making it more affordable and accessible for all Americans without sacrificing choice and quality of care. All members – blue and red – understand that we must be engaged in the process and offer solutions that protect these fundamental strengths of our healthcare system. To learn more about the Coalition, click here.

 

Members:

 Arizona Medical Association, California Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Louisiana State Medical Society, Medical Society of New Jersey, Medical Society of the State of New York, North Carolina Medical Society, Oklahoma State Medical Association, South Carolina Medical Society, and Texas Medical Association




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