Trump Signs Executive Order Diminishing Obamacare and Promising Relief

On October 12, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order that will dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This order is meant to lower costs of and bring more healthcare options to millions of people. Trump called this new executive order the beginning of ridding America of Obamacare.

Congress failed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but Trump was relentless and took action.   This was one of his campaign promises that he intended to keep. This change is said to cost the United States government virtually nothing but will also allow the American people to have better choices in regards to their healthcare.

Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican was present for the signing.  In a press conference, Paul stated “today’s action is one of the most significant free market healthcare reforms in a generation and is a rare move by Washington to reduce government interference and provide more affordable healthcare options to everyday Americans.” He stated that “the idea with the president’s order today is to let individuals get what basically other people have by working in big corporations.  We think that this holds great potential.  There’s 28 million people right not in our country that don’t have insurance, even with Obamacare. We want to find out how to get less expensive insurance so some of those people can buy insurance.”

This order will fulfill one of his campaign promises; allow health insurance companies to operate across states lines. Trump believes that an interstate competition between companies will result in lower premiums for both small businesses and consumers that buy their own health insurance.

What the order entails

The executive order requests that the Labor Secretary ease restrictions on short-term health plans and allow consumers to buy the expanded use of short-term policies from three months to a year.  Consumers will also be able to renew short-term health plans.

Federal agencies will focus on the US on hospitals, doctors and other provider’s alliance that may be the reason costs are rising in insurance markets. After this, they will have to come up with a plan that will offer lower premiums with limited benefits outside the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.  

The Treasury Department must find ways to expand the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements, which are tax-free accounts. These accounts allow employers to give their workers money for expenses regarding coverage. This will allow small businesses to group together to purchase association health plans.

Issues that may arise

Each state has specific regulations which can make it more expensive for insurance companies to operate in different states. Because of this, the five biggest health insurance companies—UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Aetna, Humana, and Cigna) service half the insured population. Trump believes that the increased competition will drive insurance costs down. But instead, critics worry the executive order could increase these five companies’ monopoly and end up raising costs.

The reason the Affordable Care Act was formed was to produce a large risk pool for those who do not get coverage from work or government plans.  The people who are healthy in the pool counterbalance the costs of the sick.  Critics worry that the order will allow insurers to deter from Obamacare regulations, allowing them to sell plans with lower monthly premiums and limited benefits.  This will drive away younger and healthier consumers from Obamacare, and destabilize the insurance market forcing insurers to make health coverage more expensive for sick people.

In the past, association health plans were a way to bypass state insurance regulations.  They may not follow the rules of the ACA that require plans to cover a basic set of benefits, therefore producing limited benefits.  With this being a possibility, the less packaged health plans might appeal to healthier consumers who decide that they do not need coverage for things such as prescription drugs and other amenities that they likely will not use.  If these association plans that offer limited benefits rise in popularity, it may leave a lot of Americans with poor coverage.

President Trump and Republicans have promised for a long time to try and cut premiums for the millions of middle-class people, including self-employed business people and early retirees, who do not receive subsidies and must take the hit of cost increases.

A senior administration official said the changes could take six months or longer to take effect, maybe not even until 2019.  Experts say the executive order probably will not have an impact on premiums for 2018, which is expected to be higher in many states for people buying their own policies.  

Why is Obamacare so expensive?

Obamacare is expensive for one reason…

…it ended underwriting; the ability to deny coverage to people with health conditions. Unless Congress is willing to allow underwriting, nothing they will do will reduce premiums in the short run and it won’t contain runaway health costs.

This leaves us with the problem where there are millions of hardworking Americans who make too much money to get a subsidy on the exchanges, but not enough money to afford the insurance. A family of four earning $90,000 a year has to pay 100% of the cost of a plan and the average cost of a plan is about $20,000 a year. After taxes, mortgage, car payments, food, gas, electric, etc. that family doesn’t have enough left to pay health insurance. Presently, health plans are not affordable for families earning up to $120,000 a year depending on where you live.

Health costs have risen faster than our economy for decades and are forecast to run at least 1.2% higher than the growth of our GDP. This means every year, more and more Americans won’t be able to afford coverage. It also means that more and more employers will reduce benefits of the plans they offer and drop coverage, leaving more people under and uninsured.

Ultimately, we will end up with Medicare for everyone and we will let the government directly negotiate reimbursements with doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Its truly not if, but when, as there are no “marketplace” solutions that can really fix the problem.

AND NO, THE FOLLOWING WON’T WORK:

Writing Policies Across State Lines

Ridiculous, anyone who says this doesn’t know what they are talking about as there is no lack of carriers with approved policies in every state. If you don’t have the deepest discounts with doctors and hospitals, you can’t compete – which is why many exchanges are now left with only 1 or 2 health plans.

Health Savings Accounts or Consumer Directed Healthcare

I’m a big fan of getting people to become good consumers of their healthcare, but there are two key problems with this approach being a solution:

  • If I’m in a pool with people who don’t lead healthy lifestyles (aka the vast majority of Americans) then I’m going to be paying a lot for the high deductible policy.
  • Also, the vast majority of doctors and hospitals still won’t provide anyone with their prices, so you can’t comparison shop your care. BTW, the most common reason they say they can’t give you a price is that its too complex. And that is quite simply a big fat lie as the contracts they have with insurance companies are all fixed rate pricing. This means your Blue Cross plan pays your hospital X amount for every day your in the hospital or they pay a fixed fee to treat you for certain types of care.

Wellness Programs

Again, these work, but the people who tend to participate are already fit. These can reduce long term trend, but they won’t reduce costs. It has to be a part of any solution, but its not a silver bullet.

Medicaid Block Grants

This strategy will just reduce the number of people who are covered, cause more uncompensated care, and cost people who get coverage more money. No doubt there will be some creative ideas that will have impact, but at the end of the day the level of funding is less than the amount provided to expand Medicaid. If health reform keeps Medicaid funding level with current expenditures and increased it for all the states who did not expand Medicaid, it would be a good thing and could be positive.

Eliminating the Employer Deduction for Health Insurance

This won’t only not control health costs, it will hurt middle america as employers will either drop coverage or significantly reduce the amount they pay toward insurance. Putting a cap on the deduction allowed will just make employer’s reduce benefits as the costs rise to stay under the cap, again hurting middle america as the costs just shift to those consumers.

Malpractice Reform

This strategy will be welcomed by Doctors across the country but it won’t do anything more than give health plans a very small one time savings. First, it won’t eliminate all settlements and lawsuits because most malpractice settlements and awards have merit. Second, the cost of suits is a very small part of the cost of medicine. Finally, practicing so called “defensive medicine” is not a thing as most health care providers use “best practices” and that is generally why doctors order up additional tests. Yes, it happens, but it’s not as prevalent as people think and doesn’t add up to a lot in relationship to the $3.2 Trillion we spend on healthcare each year.

Allowing Trade Associations to Form Purchasing Groups

This can reduce some overhead when they negotiate with insurers (a one time savings), but it can’t change the long term increases in health care spending.

 

Bottom line, we will be tinkering around the edges until the cost for care is so high that a majority of Americans demand the government to “take over healthcare”.

It’s only a matter of time.

For Sales Success, Pursue Quality Health Insurance Leads

Why waste time following questionable leads when you could be buying top-quality ones from a reputable lead generation company?

Insurance agents have all had some experience with lousy leads. These leads are so chewed up by the time they reach the agency that there is no sense in even calling the contact. Shared health insurance leads can be an agent’s nightmare; who would want to call an exhausted content who has already spoken to five or six other agents? The cost of shared leads is painful, especially when contact after contact hangs up immediately (or, even worse, shouts and invents brand-new, unsavory names for you). It’s disheartening, discouraging, depressing — and completely unnecessary.

If you want to pursue promising leads with your time, be prepared to invest in options that suit your demographic and geographic parameters. If you choose the right kind of leads for your agency, the initial costs will recoup itself in the eventual profits. Quality leads do have a higher upfront cost, but “saving” money on leads will only delay (if not prevent) your success as an agent.

If you invest in well-chosen leads, your business will grow accordingly. If you choose to “save”, you will get what you did not pay for. No matter the quality, leads are a significant expense. If you choose those unlikely to pay off in the future, you are choosing to waste time and money.

Many poor-quality leads do not offer genuine contacts, and they often contain misleading information (from tire-kickers and pranksters to the family pet). Who has such time to waste?
Before you buy, give some thought to the three things that make your agency the best in the business. Your policies are fairly priced and offer good coverage; you are able to respond with integrity and intuition to what people want and need; and you know how to communicate effectively with those seeking insurance. In today’s society, everyone must have at least one form of insurance. A good agent can help a potential customer through the maze of options and explain the necessities and benefits. By using your time and money to pursue quality leads, success will be yours.

[footer block_id=’2072′]

Expanding an Agency With Insurance Leads

When starting out as an insurance agency, it can be difficult to find your first leads. Solid leads are rare, and no one wants to solicit all their family members for business (there’s an invitation to Christmas dinner to consider). Instead, contact a lead generation company with a good reputation to discuss your needs. This relationship is part of the foundation of your business, because once you have a constant supply of insurance leads, nothing can stop you from making your agency a huge success.

You got into this business because you wanted to help people find the right kind of insurance, uniquely suited to them, and because you planned to make a profit. By investing in health insurance leads, you have a constant supply of potential customers. Pursue them as you have been taught in training and turn those insurance leads into your amazing success story.

[footer block_id=’2073′]

Exclusive Medicare Supplement Leads Bring Success

Exclusive Medicare supplement leads can single handedly offer your insurance agency success. Medicare alone does not meet every senior’s needs, and participants must fill in the gaps with Medicare supplements. If you offer those supplements, you will find business — it’s as simple as that. A solid consumer base already exists and will continue to grow. Find a reliable lead generation company, order exclusive Medicare leads, pursue them when they arrive and help people choose what they need to get the kind of health coverage they want.

With such surprisingly simple, clear benefits, you might as well take advantage of the system to get the best leads with the highest potential of converting. These clients are pre-vetted, pre-qualified and planning to buy — if not immediately, then within six to eight weeks. Seniors need the coverage your policies offer; it’s an ideal business situation.

[footer block_id=’2080′]

Despite Changes, Private Health Insurance Leads Still Provide a Good Source of Income

In spite of the many changes in health care law, people still want private insurance. Many do not wish to make health insurance exchanges and, as a result, agents still have opportunities to reach out to an interested audience. People want, need and are willing to pay for coverage in this volatile market. No one likes to be told what to do — what to buy and where to buy it. If you offer an alternate route, many will be happy to work with you.

Opt for exclusive health insurance leads, as they offer the best source of long-term conversions. Since they only come to you, follow them to the very best of your ability, then offer good service and a good product for a reasonable price. Know your policies and insurers very well. Exclusive leads are worth the extra cost. Your working contributions can be one of the best selling points for the health insurance you offer, and that’s not bad. Your personality and knowledge can encourage people to respond in a positive, receptive frame of mind.

[footer block_id=’2072′]

Lead Types

Get Your Free Guide to Selling Exclusive Insurance Leads!

    Hey there, I’m Ben, your personal assistant. What brings you to Benepath’s website today?