Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"I think this is a reasonable policy response ...

... [rules proposed by HHS on June 8 to limit short-term health plan products] — recognizing that short-term plans have some value but should be used only for short-term coverage. The way those plans are underwritten do pose a real threat to the exchanges, but they also fill a gap in the marketplace. This is a classic insurance spiral: consumers are going to look for these types of work-around plans as long as the rates continue to go up dramatically (or choice is increasingly limited) in the exchanges — and the more they opt out of the exchanges, the faster the premiums will rise. The exchanges need those healthy people in order to provide some predictability into their premiums, but if public policy fails to constrain the attractiveness in short-term plans, it'll be difficult. Limiting duration and renewability are two good steps to balance the risk pools in the exchanges. I'm not sure it will be enough."

— Erik Johnson, vice president for value-based care at Optum, Inc., a unit of UnitedHealth Group, told AIS's Health Plan Week.

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