‘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 …

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 …

MacArthur Amendment to AHCA Would Mean Higher Premiums for Age and Preexisting Conditions

We already know that health insurance legislation known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a bad deal for older Americans ages 50-64. For people who purchase coverage on their own in the individual (nongroup) market and are not yet eligible for Medicare, the bill would significantly increase premiums for all older adults and spike costs dramatically for lower- and moderate-income older adults. Now a bad bill just got worse. The House is considering a new amendment introduced by …

State High-Risk Pools Failed Consumers in the Past — and Would Again

The revised  American Health Care Act (AHCA) threatens to do away with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with preexisting health conditions. These protections prevent insurance companies from denying these individuals coverage or charging them higher rates based on their health. Eliminating these protections could force millions of Americans to — once again — rely on state high-risk pools. State high-risk pools are supposed to provide access to health insurance for people who cannot get coverage in the …