Health Care

Association Health Plans: How Do You Solve a Problem Like a MEWA?

Association Health Plans: How Do You Solve a Problem Like a MEWA?”

The Trump administrationtook the final step Tuesday in its plan aimed at making health insurance policies cheaper for some small businesses. Up to 4.3 million people are projected to leave the individual and small group insurance markets to enroll in association health plans (see Association Health Plans Could Spark 4.3 Million People To Drop ACA Coverage).

Association health plans, which have existed for decades, have always been a favorite tool of Republicans.

However, the new Trump administration rule allows small businesses and self-employed people to bind together exclusively for the purposes of buying health insurance and be regulated as a large group plan not subject to the ACA's minimum coverage requirements.

While AHPs have found support among a number of trade associations, including the National Retail Federation, many health advocate groups, such as the American Cancer Society, oppose them. They are the most recent piece in the administration's jigsaw efforts to undercut elements of the ACA through its own powers after the Republican-led Congress failed previous year to repeal a broad swath of the sprawling 2010 statute.

Top Republicans cheered the move as a pathway to escape soaring Obamacare premiums. That would free them from having to adhere to some of Obamacare's rules, particularly the one requiring insurers to offer comprehensive coverage. While there are many elements to the new rules, one key issue is that health plans will not be required to cover the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act-mandated (PPACA) essential health benefits, which includes ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and addiction treatment services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services.

Those hefty coverage rules have been blamed for hiking prices of health plans across the board, forcing customers to pay for services they don't want.

Obamacare's defenders said consumers might not understand what kind of coverage they are getting and that sicker consumers who rely on robust coverage will face higher premiums because insurers will expect those who remain in the exchanges to file expensive claims.

More news: Supreme Court ruling could have huge impact on Texas economy

Catherine Monson can't wait to set up an association health plans that her franchisees can offer their workers.

"The Trump administration hopes to level the playing field between large companies and small businesses by expanding access to association health plans", Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told reporters on Tuesday.

But the plans will have more freedom to charge different prices depending on customer's age, gender and location - something ACA coverage can not do. While the DOL declined to provide specific definitions or sanction specific industry classifications, the preamble provides some examples of classifications that would not meet the new rule's "commonality of interest" standard.

The Department of Labor finalized its rule expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHPs) this week, a reform that will help millions of working Americans gain access to quality, affordable health insurance for themselves and their families. "Ultimately, the rule could result in fewer insured Americans and may put consumers at greater risk of fraudulent actors entering this market".

The final rule also clarifies that the association must have at least one substantial business goal unrelated to providing health coverage.

Avalere Health, a Washington-based consulting firm, estimated last winter that the rules would lead to lower premiums by 2022 for those with association health plans - averaging $2,900 a year less than in the ACA marketplace for small businesses and $9,700 less compared with the individual market.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


22 June 2018
Ranbir Kapoor nails Sanjay Dutt's Munnabhai avatar in the latest 'Sanju' teaser
He said Ranveer has the flamboyance, the depth of emotion which is like a complete package he was looking for. I knew that I will be compared to Sanjay Dutt and that is why I have tried my best to do justice to his role.

22 June 2018
Cavaliers officially begin their finger-crossing over LeBron
He also is well aware of the rumors involving himself and reiterated that he would love to remain in Cleveland. Then again, ahead of Thursday night's draft, it is #SmokeScreenSZN.

22 June 2018
Homeland Security drafts plan to end family separation
On Tuesday, Trump argued that sticking by his policies was a winning political strategy as he took a fresh shot at Democrats. The government has said the families could be reunited eventually after the parents were processed in court.

22 June 2018
LAFC's Marco Ureña on Costa Rica facing Brazil: "They're not invincible"
Serbia have three points in the bag after beating Costa Rica but this is a very different test for them. Coverage begins at 7 am ET on Thursday with Brazil and Costa Rica at Saint Petersnurg Stadium.

22 June 2018
Nigeria vs. Iceland - Football Match Preview
The Super Eagles can take confidence that all of Nigeria's win at the World Cup has been against European oppositions. These two sides have never met in worldwide competition.

22 June 2018
‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Roars to $15.3 Million on Thursday
It'll likely be knocked into the #2 position by Fallen Kingdom , but it's gonna put up a solid fight. Bayona directed from a script by " Jurassic World " helmer Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly.

22 June 2018
Dozens missing after ferry sinks in lake in Indonesia
Relatives cry while waiting for news on missing family members who were on a ferry that sank in Lake Toba, Indonesia. An Associated Press reporter on Wednesday morning saw rescuers transferring a body to an ambulance onshore.

22 June 2018
United Kingdom to review use of medicinal cannabis
But NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens urged caution. "Whereas let's be clear, actually it isn't", he said. But she added that while it was a "clearly largely positive" announcement, "we still want to hear the details".

22 June 2018
Trump's immigration order replaces one crisis with another
But the volume of condemnation on breaking up families, from inside and outside the White House, finally overwhelmed Trump. Instinctively combative and fond of chaos, Trump usually digs in on controversial policies, rather than backing down.

22 June 2018
Google removes Uber bookings from Maps
The feature was earlier removed from the Google Maps iOS app and now appears to be the same for Android users. The feature is still live in India, but we are sure when the company will remove it.