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President Trump Signs Executive Order Changing ACA Market

This morning, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to allow small businesses to purchase what are known as “association health plans.” These plans are a form of insurance in which similar small businesses can group together through an association to negotiate health benefits. Association plans are not required to cover some serious medical conditions, and are overall less regulated than more traditional insurance plans.
The order also includes an expansion of short-term insurance policies, sometimes known as bridge policies, which are often available to individuals ineligible for other plans because of employment, age, or other factors. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these plans only last 3 months; however, under President Trump’s Executive Order, they could be extended for up to a year. These plans often charge more to those who are very sick and need more coverage, and they are able to deny individuals with pre-existing conditions. Both association health plans and short-term policies have lower benefit requirements than are required under the ACA.
This is the administration’s largest step forward to change the market established under the ACA. NRHA is evaluating the effects this will have on the quality, affordability, and availability of healthcare on our members and on rural communities. We will update you here with more information soon.

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