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Posts by Sarah Lueck

Farm Bill Funding for Association Health Plans Could Weaken Coverage, Raise Costs

May 16, 2018

The pending House farm bill authorizes up to $65 million to help agricultural organizations set up association health plans (AHPs) to cover their members. But expanding AHPs could lead to higher premiums and reduced choices in other insurance markets that serve farm workers and their families....

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Iowa Health Plan Proposal Would Raise Consumer Costs, Weaken Protections

February 28, 2018

Iowa lawmakers are considering exempting health plans offered by the state’s Farm Bureau from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) benefit standards and consumer protections. That would generate premium hikes in Iowa’s individual insurance market in 2019 and expose enrollees in the new plans to high costs and benefit gaps if they get sick.

The Iowa legislation, proposed in the state...

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Trump Proposal Expanding Short-Term Health Plans Would Harm Consumers

February 20, 2018

The Trump Administration proposed rules today to expand the use of short-term health plans as an alternative to plans that meet more stringent standards. This would let a parallel market for skimpy plans operate alongside the market for comprehensive individual health insurance, exposing consumers to...

Baby at Doctor's Appointment

Policymakers Should Craft Reinsurance Proposals to Lower Premiums, Help More People

February 8, 2018

The idea of reimbursing health insurers for some costs associated with their highest-cost enrollees, known as reinsurance, is gaining traction as policymakers seek ways to make states’ individual insurance markets more stable and reduce premiums. But some federal reinsurance proposals are likelier than others to reduce premiums, and reinsurance alone won’t help individual market consumers who...

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Skimpy Health Plans Put Consumers, Insurance Markets at Risk

February 5, 2018

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) critics are now proposing “alternative” health coverage options that offer skimpier benefits and operate separately from regular health insurance markets that serve individuals. While recent state-level and federal proposals differ in the details, they’d have a similar result: People who buy skimpy plans would face staggering costs when they get sick, and...

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Trump Rule on Association Health Plans Could Devastate Small-Group Markets

January 5, 2018

The Trump Administration’s proposed new rule to dramatically broaden enrollment in association health plans (AHPs) would likely have a devastating effect on small-group insurance markets, raising premiums for small businesses with older or sicker workers and reducing coverage and consumer protections for people in AHPs. It would likely hurt the individual insurance market as well.

If...

Health Insurance Application

Iowa Can Strengthen Health Insurance Market Without Harming Consumers

October 24, 2017

Now that Iowa has withdrawn its request for a federal “1332 waiver” to allow it to change its health insurance market, some state officials are blaming what they say are overly strict federal requirements for approving such waivers. But, in reality, those requirements served their intended purpose of protecting consumers. While Iowa’s individual market faces challenges, Iowa consumers will...

Health Insurance Forms

Trump Order Could Destabilize Health Insurance Markets, Hurt Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

October 12, 2017

President Trump’s new executive order could destabilize the health insurance markets where millions of individuals and small businesses get their coverage and undermine protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

Nurse and Patient

ACA Marketplaces Poised to Grow Stronger — If They’re Not Sabotaged

August 3, 2017

President Trump is again threatening to stop cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), just as new data show that such action would fuel sharp premium hikes in 2018. If, however, the payments continue, ACA marketplace customers in some areas would see little to no premium increase next year — a...

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Trump Move Would Boost Premiums, Raise Federal Costs, Destabilize Insurance Market

July 31, 2017

Ending the CSR payments would boost premiums for many consumers, raise overall federal marketplace subsidy costs, and likely cause some insurers to withdraw from the marketplaces.

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