On October 12, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States” that he believes will “fix” a broken healthcare system caused by the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare. However, as reported by the Deseret News, it may be awhile before Utah health insurance consumers see much of a change. The reason for this is that any changes to Utah regulations and laws must be reviewed before implemented.
Open enrollment for Obamacare coverage begins online on November 1 through healthcare.gov. A strong advocate for Utah’s uninsured, Jason Stevenson, who is the director of education and the changes when they attempt to enroll. President Trump has already shortened the end of the enrollment period to the end of the year, so there will be less time for consumers to weigh their health insurance options.
Steve Gooch, a Utah Insurance Department public information officer, believes the executive order is not feasible.
“Utah law now doesn’t allow insurance to be sold like the president is proposing, so changes would have to be done legislatively to make that happen. It would take some time to do,”said Gooch.
The order increases the term for catastrophic and short-term plans to up to one year. Another major point is that it will allow groups of employers can look for and negotiate coverage terms and prices across all states. Trump believes that lower premiums will be the result of competition across state lines.
Of the 39 states utilizing Obamacare, the White House stated that between 2013 and 2017, the average premiums have doubled. In addition, in one-third of American counties, only one choice of insurers is offered. 500,000 fewer Americans enrolled for this year’s coverage versus the previous year, choosing to pay the non-compliance penalty instead.