The Lawsuits and the Trump’s Expansion of the Short-Term Healthcare Plans

To block an expansion of short-term health plans proposed by the Trump administration, seven advocacy groups and healthcare industry filed the lawsuits prior to its execution date. Several different groups like the American Psychiatric Association, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, and many others professed that such policies that let short-term plans expansion to grow will create a great hurdle for ACA, who intent to spread low-cost comprehensive insurance plans throughout the states.

According to the CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, also responsible for safety-net insurers, Margaret Murray in one of her argument said, “We’re very concerned that some plans in the ACA market may drop out because this will draw low-risk people out of the marketplace and increase unfair competition from plans that aren’t subject to the same rules”. However, the short-term rule plan was developed and finalized by the administration last month, and the effective date was announced to be the Oct 2nd. The rule allowed people to get “short-term”, 364 days setup of healthcare insurance plans, with an extension of renewal after that for 36 months, if wanted. On this topic a CMS spokesperson said, and we quote, “short-term plans are an important option for people in certain circumstances and the Trump administration is committed to delivering greater access and more affordable choices to the men and women left out by Obamacare.”

The issue that the healthcare groups have with the availability of such plans, are based on the provision of lower premium and non-comprehensive healthcare coverage plans. These plans are not bound to follow the rule of ACA 10 essential benefit categories, which include, maternity care, prescription drugs, and mental health care. They will also have the charge of filing patients with more money due to their age, pre-existing condition, gender, and health status and that too with no out-pocket caps. The healthcare groups are afraid that the law will produce a loophole out of ACA’s narrow absolution for short-term plans and will allow the permanent structure of individual insurance market plans to take place, contradicting the ACA’s protection standards.

However, a claim was started that Department of Labor, Treasury Department, and HHS have produced no strong reasoning to halt the action of short-term plans and not to overturn the 2016’s Obama administration rule. Commissioned by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, a Wakely Consulting Group study forecasted that approximately 2 million of the population will switch from their comprehensive ACA plans to short-term plans, producing a minimum hike of 6.6% for the short-term. But, a general counselor for “Health eDeals”, an IHC Group division responsible for selling short-term plans, Ms. Dubauskas, argued that the renewable short-term policies will likely attract the customers that aren’t on any insurance plans. But she did agree to the point that it can draw the comprehensive ACA plan holders to get premium subsidies as well, if their finances allow them to. “I don’t think there will be a big impact on those individuals who are in the ACA risk pool now,” she said.

“They won’t be interested in walking away from the subsidies they have. If there is any risk to the pool, it’s with those unsubsidized folks who are paying $600 a month with a $6,000 deductible. They may be looking for a more affordable option.” The lawsuit also highlighted the fact of swapping places between ACA supporters and ACA foes, all to use courts to combat the Obamacare wars. Tim Jost, an emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University said, “What we saw throughout the Obama administration was dozens of lawsuits filed by right-wing groups trying to eviscerate the ACA.

Now things have flipped. There will be a new lawsuit every time the Trump administration does something to undermine the ACA. He keeps saying he’s trying to destroy it. It’s not surprising people are taking him seriously.”