‘Short-Term’ Health Plans No Longer Short-Term

On August 1, the Trump Administration released a final rule that will allow insurance companies to offer cheaper “short-term limited duration” health plans for longer periods of time. Short-term plans are cheap for a reason. The plans don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning they aren’t required to cover essential benefits and protect people with preexisting conditions, and they don’t have to adhere to community rating standards. Thus, while short-term plans have been available for years and may …

Medicare Part D Improvements Help Beneficiaries and Taxpayers

Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which, among other things, created Medicare Part D to cover outpatient prescription drugs. Today, more than 40 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare Part D has since benefited from a number of changes that helped reduce prescription drug-related expenses for older Americans. Unfortunately, this important progress is now under threat. Basics of Medicare Part D The standard Medicare …

Warning: Short-Term Health Plans = Higher Premiums for Older Adults

You might have thought that efforts to unravel the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were over, but newly proposed regulations and legislation are once again threatening to have similar harmful effects for older adults ages 50-64 who rely on individual market coverage. On February 21, 2018, the Trump Administration proposed new federal rules calling for significant expansion of a category of insurance products known as “short-term limited duration” insurance plans. More recently, Congress is considering legislation that would block states, who …

Health Provision in New Tax Bill: Higher Premiums and Loss of Health Coverage for Older Adults

Thought the debate over the health law was over? Not quite. Yes, Congress has shifted its focus from health care to tax reform over the past couple months. But health care faces new threats under the latest proposed tax legislation. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50-64 would …

Ending Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Will Hurt Older Adults

Federal subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), have been critical to ensuring that over 2 million lower-income adults ages 50 to 64 who purchase coverage through health insurance Marketplaces can afford health care.[1] Despite the subsidies’ crucial role, the Administration announced yesterday that it will terminate payments for CSRs. The announcement—which comes less than 3 weeks before millions of Americans who buy insurance on the individual market start shopping for 2018 health coverage— is bad news for older adults and people …

Graham-Cassidy Would Weaken Protections for Older Adults and People with Preexisting Conditions

A late-breaking attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) threatens to weaken critical federal consumer protections and raise costs for older Americans ages 50-64 who purchase health insurance coverage in the individual market. Tucked into the sweeping legislation known as the Graham-Cassidy bill are provisions allowing states to receive waivers from crucial consumer protections. Such waivers could allow insurance companies to increase costs for older consumers based on their health, preexisting conditions, and age–potentially putting health coverage …