GOP Releases Details Regarding ACA Replacement Plan

Yesterday, House Republicans unveiled a plan to replace the ACA with a system composed of tax credits that will encourage Americans to buy insurance on the open market. The bill, called the American Health Care Act, is designed to end the requirement for everyone to have coverage and eliminates the taxes that were used to fund the ACA.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement: “Our legislation transfers power from Washington back to the states. We dismantle Obamacare’s damaging taxes and mandates so states can deliver quality affordable options.”

 

Resources:

Aiming to Bridge Gaps Within the Party, GOP Releases Health Care Reform Details

House Republicans Unveil Plan to Replace Health Law

GOP Bill Would Repeal Obamacare Taxes and Penalties, Keep Some Subsidies

What’s Happening in Washington?

Danny Bradford

Danny Bradford, Corporate Counsel and Compliance Officer

Thanks to Cornerstone and the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters, I was fortunate enough to spend several days witnessing the chaos in our capital first hand. Though I won’t pretend to have answers about what may come next from Washington, I’m excited to share an update from my recent experience attending the National Association of Health Underwriter’s (NAHU) Capitol Conference.

NAHU and its local chapters across the country actively work to ensure that agent and broker interests have a voice in the discussion about the future of health care reform (a breakdown of NAHU legislative issues can be viewed on the NAHU website). While Congress continues the debate over repealing and replacing, NAHU has focused on the stabilization of the individual and small group markets. Regardless of the future of health care reform, everyone, including politicians, carriers, brokers, and consumers benefit from stability in a turbulent marketplace.

Nearly every speaker at the conference began by acknowledging the rapidly changing landscape of health care reform. Though some expect drastic action to come quickly, politicians on both sides of the aisle acknowledged that any change would likely take time.

So what might this “action” look like?

While I will not try to predict the outlook of the post-ACA health insurance market, it’s relatively clear that Republicans will use at least three different prongs to effect change:

1. Administrative Action

2. Budget Reconciliation

3. Legislation

Each prong provides means for changing the existing ACA structure, but also requires greater partisan and bi-partisan support.

As many brokers are aware, significant pieces of the ACA were implemented through administrative action, which can also be modified by administrative action. For example, on Friday, February 10, Tom Price was confirmed as the secretary of The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and then February 15, HHS took administrative action and issued proposed regulations addressing market stabilization.

While administrative action can begin quickly through the executive branch, budget reconciliation bills will require the support of 51 senators, while legislative bills will likely require the support of 60 senators.

A number of proposals, including House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” and Price’s “Empowering Patients First Act,” have been discussed in Congress and the in the media. However, most congressional representatives expect a comprehensive plan to be outlined in the coming weeks, which may clarify where the market is headed next. In the meantime, many brokers will continue to do what they have always done: Let politicians worry about Washington, and focus on taking care of their clients.

Cornerstone is committed to being a trusted resource in an ever-changing market, and our experts will keep you updated as we approach complex legislative modifications ahead.


For more information, contact Cornerstone today.

WEBINAR: Ameritas PrimeStar Individual Dental and Vision Insurance

Male hand holding five star rating sign. Flat design vector illustration.Join Cornerstone and presenter Diego Coig from Ameritas for a live training webinar regarding Ameritas PrimeStar Individual Dental and Vision Insurance.

Because of Ameritas’ recent acquisition of Security Life, the network is larger than ever before!

Register for one of the webinars below today to learn more about Ameritas and their diverse products.

Reasons to attend:

  1. Ameritas is one of the largest nationwide networks with more 111,500 unique providers.
  2. No waiting period on preventative and basic services.
  3. No enrollment fees.

Cornerstone also has new contracts available. Contact us today to learn more!


Register now!

DATE: Tuesday February 21, 2017
TIME: 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST
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*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

DATE: Tuesday March 14, 2017
TIME: 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST
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*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Aetna Plans to Stay Out of Individual Market in 2018 Following 2016 Losses

Mark Bertolini, chairman of Aetna Inc., stated that the company would not be involved in the individual market throughout 2018 because of the uncertainty of legislative changes. The company hopes to return to the market in 2019 when there is expected to be a new system in place.

Executives from the company said that involvement in the individual market in 2016 led to a $450 million loss, which was much higher than the company anticipated. An antitrust judge suggested that the company may be using concerns in the individual market to leverage its proposed acquisition of Humana, Inc. According to Bertolini, Aetna is still reviewing the antitrust case ruling and may file an appeal.

For more information, click here.

WEBINAR: What are Hospital Indemnity Plans and Why Should I Sell Them?

Retain clients and double your commissions with Hospital Indemnity Plans!

Join Cornerstone’s Individual Division and Senior Marketing for a webinar about hospital indemnity plans, how to sell them, and just how they’ll benefit your business! Learn different strategies for offering and communicating plan options to your clients and maximize your health coverage portfolio today.

 

Training Agenda:

  1. HIP Product Overview
  2. How to Sell HIP
  3. Quoting HIP — Demonstration
  4. HIP Value — Commission

Offer hospital indemnity plans as a single-packaged solution and find out how they can profit your business. Sign up today.

Date: Tuesday January 31, 2017
Time: 9:00 am–10:00 am
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Date: Thursday February 2, 2017
Time: 9:00 am–10:00 am
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Space is limited! RSVP today to secure your seat.

President Trump Signs Executive Order to Minimize Burdens Caused by ACA

According to the executive order, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other executive departments have the authority to “minimize ACA-related burdens” that would be fiscally or regulatorily burdensome on “individuals, families, health care providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of health care services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products or medications.”

Read the full story here.

Senate Republicans Take Action with Repealing Obamacare; Prevent Democratic Filibuster

According to The New York Times, with a vote of 51 to 48, Senate Republicans approved a budget blueprint for the repeal of Obamacare without a Democratic filibuster. President-elect Donald Trump says he has a plan for simultaneously repealing and replacing the policy, but will not expose the plan until Tom Price, his nominee for secretary of health and human services, is confirmed.

Read the full article here.