President Trump's recent executive order on healthcare is the latest strategy he has used to dismantle The Affordable Care Act after several failed attempts and months of discussion. The bold move has left many confused about what it means and what happens next. It doesn't help that many news reports seem to be adding to the confusion. It’s worth a quick read of the actual document here.
Here are the facts
In summary, nothing is really happening now. President Trump is ordering the secretaries of Labor, Commerce, etc. to look into implementing three broad strategies:
- Association Health Plans (AHPs) – Allowing “associations” of small businesses or individuals to band together (potentially across state lines) to procure insurance.
- Short-Term Insurance (STLDI) – Short-term plans do not meet ACA requirements. The previous administration limited their duration to 3 months maximum. This appears to be a change to push them back to 12 months or longer. It’s not clear if users of these plans would have to pay a tax-penalty or not.
- Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) – The president is looking for ways to expand HRA use and coverage options.
So what does it mean?
Again, none of these changes are made, he’s just asking the secretaries to look into what can be done under the current laws to enable more of the above.
Our quick reaction is we’re pumped about the direction things are heading! Anything that brings competition and choice to our customers is something we can get behind, especially when it comes to individuals and small businesses. Our individual portal already incorporates short-term plans and our small business platform already offers QSEHRA administration, an HRA tool that helps them reimburse employees tax-free for medical expenses and premiums.
What was missing from this executive order was clarification on the enforcement of individual and small business tax-penalties. Rumors are orders could come soon on those. There is a long road ahead in terms of crafting new regulations and offering guidance to carry out the order. It will also be interesting to see how the latest moves affects the stability of Obamacare. We will be sure to keep you informed! Make sure to sign up for our policy updates below.