The Association of American Physicians and Surgeon applauds the Trump Administration’s decision on August 1 to finalize expanded flexibility for short term, limited duration (STLDI) insurance plans.
Under the new rules announce by HHS, short term plans can remain in effect for up to 36 months and once again include an option for guaranteed renewal, reversing a prohibition on this consumer protection instituted by the Obama administration.
“Access to improved short term plans will not only offer another welcome escape hatch from the financial harm caused by soaring ObamaCare costs, but also can free patients from ACA-controlled plans that too often provide only the illusion of coverage while greatly limiting patient choice of doctor and improperly interfering in the patient-physician relationship,” stated AAPS.
How much less financial pain will Short Term plans inflict? CMS reports: “The average monthly premium for an individual in the fourth quarter of 2016 for a short-term, limited-duration policy was approximately $124, compared with $393 for an unsubsidized individual market plan.” And Michael Cannon of Cato estimates that, “consumers could purchase health-insurance protection for 90% less than the cost of the average ObamaCare plan.”
In addition to cost savings driven by excising failing ACA overregulation, STLDI options also offer Americans the ability to purchase plans that respect their individual beliefs. “Trump’s new insurance rule effectively enables people to opt out of Obamacare’s abortion and contraception mandates. A win for conscience,” proclaimed HSAs for All President Dean Clancy.
To bolster patient choice even further, AAPS is calling for the Trump administration’s next step to be the reversal of another Obama administration decision that blocks patients from using Health Savings Accounts for Direct Primary Care agreements. Allowing maximal flexibility for existing consumer directed tools like HSAs will give patients even greater ability to seek the lower cost, higher quality care available from independent doctors outside of insurance party control. Patients are desperate for more affordable options that preserve the ability to team together with physicians of their choice without bureaucrats in the exam room.
“STLDI expansion is tool that can help expand the availability of individualized options and is a welcome step in the right direction. We are hopeful the Trump Administration will continue to use the full authority granted by law to free patients from past policy failures and push Congress to do the same,” concludes AAPS.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.
Oped: Six Steps for Trump to Turbocharge Patient Freedom: https://aapsonline.org/six-steps-for-trump-to-turbocharge-patient-freedom