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What's inside the latest POTUS executive order?

October 17, 2017

On October 12, 2017 the President of The United States signed an executive order focused on healthcare.  This executive order entitled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across The United States” has three main components;

 

  • Expanded Access to Association Health Plans

  • Expanded Availability of Short-Term Limited‑Duration Insurance

  • Expanded Availability and Permitted Use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements

 

What is in the order?

 

Expanded access to association health plans.  “Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Labor shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, consistent with law, to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form AHPs.”[1]  AHPs are plans that offer health coverage that do not meet coverage requirements currently in place, and are negotiated between small business and insurance providers.

 

Expanded Availability of Short-Term Limited‑Duration Insurance.  “Expanded Availability of Short-Term, Limited‑Duration Insurance. Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, consistent with law, to expand the availability of STLDI.”[2]  STLDI are healthcare insurance plans that have limited terms and do not meet ACA requirements.

 

Expanded Availability and Permitted Use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements.  “. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, to the extent permitted by law and supported by sound policy, to increase the usability of HRAs, to expand employers' ability to offer HRAs to their employees, and to allow HRAs to be used in conjunction with nongroup coverage”[3]

 

What does this mean?

 

The order itself does not establish any new guidelines other than directing governmental departments to find new allowances for the three items.  Each department will have a public opinion review prior to enacting any new directives.

 

All the three main points have been proposed in various legislative forms before, and have been discussed as part of recent healthcare bills in the House of Representatives and Senate.  According to The White House, the executive orders are trying “accomplish through executive action much of what a stalled congressional repeal effort failed to achieve”[4]

 

The ACA (Obamacare) has not been changed by this order.  Until the various departments present, review, and enact regulations or guidance all current insurance coverages and regulations will stay in place.

 

 

 

[1] (The White House, 2017)

 

[2] (The White House, 2017)

 

[3] (The White House, 2017)

 

[4] (Armour, 2017)

 

 

 

References

Armour, S. (2017, October 13). Trump Signs Order Paving Way for Health-Care Changes. Retrieved from Teh Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-signs-order-paving-way-for-health-care-changes-1507824146

 

The White House. (2017, October 12). Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States. Retrieved from The White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/10/12/presidential-executive-order-promoting-healthcare-choice-and-competition

 

 

 

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