Patient Groups, Health Providers, Business Advocates & Keep US Covered Call on Biden Administration to Do Away with ICHRA and Junk Insurance Rules
Two Years After President Biden’s Executive Order Reviewing Trump Policies, KUC Partners Urge Action on Behalf of American Workers and Small Businesses
Friday, January 27, 2023
Keep US Covered (KUC) and its seven campaign partners representing patients, health care providers, and businesses sent a letter to President Biden, encouraging him to continue strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and advance health equity. The letter marks the two year anniversary that directed relevant federal agencies to review Trump-era regulations on Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) and expanded Short-Term Limited Duration Health Insurance (STLDI) to consider “suspending, revising, or rescinding” them. To date, the Administration has taken no action on these policies which – in different ways – saddle workers with increased costs and undermine the ACA. The previous administration put these rules in place.
ICHRAs open the door to discrimination in the workplace, undermine the quality and reliably of health coverage, and exacerbate health disparities. STLDI, also known as junk insurance, leaves workers with limited health coverage and vulnerable to sky-high medical bills. In the letter, Keep US Covered and its campaign partners urge the president to follow through on his executive order and do away with these Trump-era regulations.
The partners write:
“ICHRAs create a system of haves and have-nots with some employees forced to find coverage on their own with a stipend. The rule allows workers to be divided into different ‘classes,’ which invites discrimination and threatens health equity. Allowing more costly workers to be dumped into the individual market also could flood the risk pool of the ACA exchanges and increases costs for everyone who relies on the individual marketplaces for coverage.”
“Short-term plans, meanwhile, were meant to fill temporary gaps in an individual’s coverage, such as when they are in between jobs. The previous administration’s rules extended the length of these plans from three months to up to three years. Unfortunately, these extended plans typically do not protect pre-existing conditions or cover critical services like maternity and mental health. And they often leave low-income Americans with enormous and unanticipated medical bills. Patients need you to change short-term plans to align with their traditional goals.”
Despite signing the order two years ago, the Biden Administration has not taken action to rescind these harmful Trump-era rules. The letter, organized by Keep US Covered, is also signed by a broad coalition of voices who fight for access to affordable health care:
American Nurses Association
American Psychiatric Association
Small Business Majority