By Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP
Tanya L. Burns and Associates, Inc.
Article submitted by Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP, to share a health insurance update. If you’d like to submit an article, email Kelly Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order in an attempt to Improve Access, Increase Choices and Lower costs for healthcare.
The Intent of this Executive Order is to allow Employers in the SAME LINE OF BUSINESS Anywhere in the country to join together to offer healthcare coverage to their employees (aka “Association Health Plans or AHPs). This Executive Order could allow Employers to form AHPs through Existing Organizations (or create new ones) for the SOLE purpose of offering Group Health Insurance – which COULD lead to the sale of insurance across State Lines.
The Executive Order also allows the Secretaries of HHS, Treasury and Labor to consider proposing regulations (or revisions) to expand the SHORT-TERM LIMITED DURATION POLICIES. Currently, insurance carriers are not permitted to issue SHORT TERM MAJOR MEDICAL POLICIES for longer than a three month period. This would allow carriers to extend this coverage to six or twelve months.
That Executive Order also proposed regulations (or revision) to expand Health Reimbursement Arrangements. This would allow employers to contribute more to their employees’ HRAs. HRAs are employer-funded accounts that reimburse employees for healthcare expenses (deductibles, copays and out of pocket costs). Currently, the IRS does not count funds contributed to an HRA as taxable income to the employee. However, with the HIGH cost of Employer-Provided Health Insurance – HRAs are a challenge for employers at this time.
Late Thursday Evening, October 12, 2017, The White House announced it would IMMEDIATELY CEASE paying Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs) to insurance companies. CSRs help compensate insurers for lowering the copays, coinsurance and deductibles for lower-income clients pay for medical care.
IMPORTANT: This change to the CSRs DOES NOT IMPACT ANY of the Financial Assistance (TAX CREDITS OR SUBSIDIES) that health insurance customers receive to help lower the cost of their monthly premiums. SUBSIDIES WILL REMAIN IN PLACE for ALL ELIGIBLE Clients.
We will continue to monitor the ongoing changes and Promise to provide you The Most Updated & Accurate Information as it becomes available to us.
Thank You for The Privilege to Serve Always!