After multiple failed attempts to pass health care legislation, President Trump has taken matters into his own hands. The Graham-Cassidy bill, the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), garnered a great deal of attention in September but did not receive enough votes to pass the Senate. Since then, Trump has announced changes that could undermine the ACA.

On October 12, Trump signed the “Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” This executive order supports the purchase of insurance across state lines. The order also calls for new regulations to expand access to association health plans (AHPs), short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

Looking at the possible consequences of this order, Business Insider explains that by creating less regulated and less expensive alternatives for young and healthy individuals, older and sicker individuals left in the exchanges could see higher costs. An opinion piece in the Washington Post explains how the order could lead to a “race to the bottom” if insurers offering these alternate plans are allowed to operate out of the states with the most lenient regulations. In a statement issued by the American Hospital Association, Executive Vice President Tom Nickels warned that the order could destabilize the market and put Americans with pre-existing conditions at risk.

Trump also announced that he would stop funding cost-sharing subsidies for low-income Americans who purchase health care on the ACA exchanges. According to Forbes, insurers say that the end of these payments, which help low-income Americans pay for deductibles and copayments, will result in higher costs for patients and may prevent some families from purchasing insurance. In an interview with PBS, Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News explained that the costs may be passed onto higher earning Americans not receiving the subsidies, and that even employer plans could be impacted in a ripple effect.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that health insurance stocks had plunged and that he was “very proud” of the executive order.

As always, Travisoft is your benefit administration partner. Rest assured that your systems will be kept up to date as our country’s health care system continues to evolve.