Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

September 5, 2013

The Affordable Care Act's youth problem

(Continued)

Three others, however, took a different approach. They chose to relax their community rating rules. And their insurance markets have survived.

Federal lawmakers should learn from these state experiments and relax PPACA’s community-rating requirements, too.

Lawmakers must do everything they can to ensure that the “Affordable Care Act” actually makes insurance more affordable. Revising the community-rating rules is an effective way to do so.

Janet Trautwein is CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

If the Affordable Care Act’s deductible caps were removed, enrollment in “bronze” small group plans -- those with the lowest level of benefits, equivalent to 60 percent of an average person’s health costs -- would be 17 percent higher than if the cap were to remain in place.

Federal regulators have already set the stage for its repeal. For the next three years, they’ll allow the deductibles for small employers’ health plans to exceed the cap if there’s no other reasonable way to deliver the “bronze” level of benefits and adhere to the law’s affordability guidelines.

Congress should take the regulators’ action one step further – and scrap the cap on deductibles permanently. Doing so would ensure that health reform meets its stated goal of making health care more affordable and more accessible for average Americans.

Janet Trautwein is CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

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