What a Trump Presidency Means for Healthcare Costs

doctor representing healthcare costs

Healthcare costs is a topic that is hotly debated in America. Some say healthcare costs are through the roof while others claim the prices are perfectly reasonable. Some even argue the ACA has saved money because rates would be higher without the law.

Just a few years ago, President Obama promised an average cost savings of about $2,500 per year to every American, but this projection that costs would go down has since turned into the largest rate increase in history (along with unacceptably high deductibles).

Prior to the election, the Obama administration released information that healthcare premiums will rise an average of 22% in 2017. Headlines read that large increases will be accompanied by subsidies to make it affordable for consumers. However, subsidies do not mitigate the cost increase – they only disguise it.

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump made his plans to repeal the ACA very clear.

Now with the recent news that Trump may keep parts of the ACA intact, insurance leaders are being left to speculate exactly which of those components will remain. It is certain that no pre-existing condition limitations will be one aspect that will carry on through the new administration. According to Trump’s transition website, the president-elect will work to bring back state-based high-risk pools for those with a pre-existing condition who haven’t maintained continuous coverage, which were largely shut down in 2014[1]. Trump will also work to allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, in an effort to create a more dynamic market. [2]

We will see simplified reporting requirements – forms that insurers and small employers must complete in order for the IRS to determine which employers owe a penalty to fund premium tax credits.

 I also believe the ability to write ‘level funded’ plans will grow in popularity.  These are health underwritten plans and because they are technically self-funded, sometimes as a trust, the rules will loosen up so they can be sold across state lines.

 It is hard to say with complete certainty which changes will be made under the Trump administration, and how they will affect our nation’s healthcare system, but any proposed changes will take time to come into effect. In fact, it is unlikely that any policy changes will be made before 2018, so ACA-compliant coverage will still need to be purchased for the new year.

[1] Luhby, Tami. “How Trump’s Health Care Plan May Cover Americans with Pre-existing Conditions.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016. http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/15/news/economy/trump-pre-existing-conditions/.

[1] “Health Care.” Make America Great Again! N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2016. https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/health-care.