Over time, those remaining in ACA plans will increasingly be those who qualify for premium tax credit subsidies and the sick, who can't get an alternative like a short-term plan, predicts Lucia and other experts. That, in turn, would drive up ACA premiums further.
"If consumers think Obamacare premiums are high today, wait until people flood into these short-term and association health plans," said industry consultant Robert Laszewski. "The Trump administration will bring rates down substantially for healthy people, but woe unto those who get a condition and have to go back into Obamacare."
If 100,000 to 200,000 people shift from ACA-compliant plans in 2019, this would cause "average monthly individual market premiums ... to increase," the proposed rule states. That, in turn, would cause subsidies for eligible policyholders in the ACA market to rise, costing the government $96 million to $168 million.
Supporters said the rules are needed because the ACA plans have already become too costly for people who don't receive a government subsidy to help them purchase the coverage. "The current system is failing too many," said Verma.
And, many supporters don't think the change is as significant as skeptics fear.
"It simply reverts back to where the short-term plan rules were prior to Obama limiting those plans," said Christopher Condeluci, a benefits attorney who also served as tax counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. "While these plans might not be the best answer, people do need a choice, and this new proposal provides needed choice to a certain subsection of the population."
But, in their call with reporters, CMS officials said the proposed rule seeks comment on whether there are ways to guarantee renewability of the plans, which currently cannot be renewed. Instead, policyholders must reapply and answer medical questions again. The proposal also seeks comments on whether the plans should be allowed for longer than 12-month periods.
The comment period for the proposed rule runs for 60 days. Verma said CMS hopes to get final rules out "as quickly as possible," so insurers could start offering the longer duration plans.
Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/business/health-care/2018/02/20/trump-administration-proposes-rule-loosen-curbs-short-term-health-plans