President Signs Executive Order Refashioning Health Insurance Products — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 13, 2017

President Signs Executive Order Refashioning Health Insurance Products

By Joe Elia

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

President Trump has ordered the secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to expand access to insurance plans that will be cheaper (but also less comprehensive, according to news reports) than those currently available under the Affordable Care Act.

His executive order, "Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States," aims at three areas:

  • Expanding access to association health plans. Under these plans, small businesses can form associations to pool employees into larger groups, thus gaining a negotiating advantage with insurance companies.

  • Lengthening the coverage of short-term health insurance plans. These plans were meant to serve as short-term bridges for people who found themselves between jobs or without coverage. Obamacare limited their duration to 3 months; the new order expands that to nearly a year.

  • Health-reimbursement arrangements. Under these tax-advantaged arrangements, employers would offer employees "more options for financing their healthcare." The options are unspecified.

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