By Scott W. Atlas M.D. – Re-Blogged From Headline Health
Americans keep winning on health care reform.
The public may only hear about a bungling Congress that could not repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – aka ObamaCare – even though it has been imploding on its own.
Less publicized, the Trump administration continues to implement important, strategic reforms that empower consumers, lower the cost of insurance, and improve access to more affordable medical care. And the administration just delivered again.
Secretary Alex Azar’s Department of Health and Human Services expanded the availability of short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI) that is exempt from the coverage requirements and other regulations of the ACA.
STLDI was originally designed to fill a temporary gap in coverage of less than one year when transitioning between plans. President Obama’s HHS later finalized a rule in October 2016 that limited STLDI coverage to only three months.
This new directive allows STLDI to last for up to 12 months, and it can be renewed for up to 36 months. For those Americans who prefer the choice of more affordable premiums in lieu of many of ObamaCare’s coverage mandates that made insurance significantly more expensive, that choice is now available.
The benefits are highly significant for those choosing this coverage. Premiums are estimated to cost about one-third of ObamaCare-compliant insurance, per eHealth data from Q4 2016.
That provides a new opportunity for financial protection from catastrophic health expenses for those who were formerly choosing to remain uninsured, because expensive ObamaCare insurance was totally unaffordable.
This also benefits those who simply prefer to save money on premiums, rather than stretch to afford more expensive, more comprehensive insurance. Scott W. Atlas is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Read the full story at Fox News.