President Trump signed an executive order this month that is being described in the media as a step in dismantling the Affordable Care Act. For now, however, healthcare remains business as usual.
While the executive order signed Oct. 12 could result in some significant changes – such as greater access to association health plans and more competitive pricing with coverage sales permitted across state lines – the process will not be completed in 2017 and will continue into early 2018. In other words, these announcements have no immediate impact on 2018 group coverage.
Looking ahead, employers may have alternatives available to them. Joining association health plans or reimbursing individual policy premiums through an HRA are both on the table, but for now nothing has changed.
Many employer groups are currently preparing for their 2018 offerings with renewal discussions and open enrollment. Those decision and efforts should continue as these announcements have no immediate impact on 2018 group coverage. Similarly, individuals who are preparing to purchase individual coverage for 2018 will be able to do so starting Nov. 1, 2017. The options and rates for those individual policies were finalized before the announcement regarding the payment of cost sharing reduction subsidies; so again, nothing has changed for the upcoming coverage year.
As always, we will continue to keep a close eye on these developments and advise you of any changes that could impact you and your business.
Source: Tony Wilson, NUVSION Financial Advisors