NAHU Washington Update - 09/29/2017  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Fast Facts
•  BREAKING NEWS: HHS Secretary Tom Price Resigns
•  Senate Scraps Vote on Graham-Cassidy Bill to Repeal and Replace the ACA
•  Register Now for the “Live from NAHU” Webinar on October 12 with NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein
•  President Trump Expected to Release Executive Order on Selling Insurance across State Lines
•  NAHU to Continue Advocacy for Employer Sponsored Insurance as the “Big Six” Release Tax Plan
•  Senators Introduce Legislation to Extend One-Year HIT Moratorium
•  Senate Unanimously Passes Chronic Care Bill with NAHU-Supported Value-Based Insurance Design Measures
•  Congress to Delay CHIP Reauthorization beyond Tomorrow’s Funding Deadline
•  What’s Next for Health Reform? Listen to this Week’s Podcast to Find Out!
•  Register Now for October’s Compliance Corner Webinar: Fuzzy on ERISA Required Disclosures?
•  HUPAC Roundup
•  What We’re Reading

 

President Trump Expected to Release Executive Order on Selling Insurance across State Lines

President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order as soon as next week that would permit the sale of health insurance across state lines through association health plans. The order would reinterpret a provision of ERISA to allow individuals to purchase coverage in another state. This would officially sanction a proposal that has long been championed by Republicans, including in many of the ACA repeal/replace reconciliation drafts this year. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted 236-175 to pass H.R. 1101 to permit small businesses to form health plans that could be sold across state lines. The plans could either be self-insured or fully insured and the plans would be...

President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order as soon as next week that would permit the sale of health insurance across state lines through association health plans. The order would reinterpret a provision of ERISA to allow individuals to purchase coverage in another state. This would officially sanction a proposal that has long been championed by Republicans, including in many of the ACA repeal/replace reconciliation drafts this year. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted 236-175 to pass H.R. 1101 to permit small businesses to form health plans that could be sold across state lines. The plans could either be self-insured or fully insured and the plans would be able to negotiate with providers. The Senate has yet to take action on the bill, where it is currently awaiting consideration by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

NAHU has long expressed concerns about selling insurance across state lines, due to issues relating to the stability of the overall market. While we support the overall objective of increasing consumer choice, we do not believe that this will address health plan affordability. The vast majority of cost associated with health insurance is from medical claims paid, which means that, regardless of where a person’s policy might be domiciled, most of the cost would be locally generated. In some states that are heavily regulated, a small savings might be possible due to savings in administrative cost, but overall cost savings would be negligible. Further, enabling the sale of insurance across state lines could lead to a race to the bottom as states eliminate consumer protections to attract carrier participation, which would lower the overall value of insurance.

The forthcoming executive order on association health plans is expected to be a short statement with regulatory instructions directed at the Department of Health and Human Services and other appropriate agencies. It would not immediately trigger the ability for association health plans to incorporate these types of sales across state lines. NAHU will work with all agencies named in the executive order to influence any regulations written for the implementation of the order to make sure that any rules that are promulgated are done so with the best interest of the market and not in a manner that may destabilize markets across state lines.

The executive order would mark the president’s first major executive action on healthcare since the order issued on his first day in office directing federal agencies to ease the regulatory burden of the ACA. Since then, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Labor and Treasury Department have issued requests for information to carry out this order, to which NAHU responded with detailed comments.