I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly looking over my shoulder in anticipation of what Congress will do to our healthcare access if it can get its hands on it. Their latest round of proposals have some bad and some not-so-bad options, particularly when it comes to health care plans many freelancers purchase through Associations. These may be a blessing or a curse, assuming they are legislated into action. While we’re waiting to find out, here’s an interesting article by Freelancer’s Union participant Carol Poster:
How Proposed Healthcare Changes Will Affect Freelancers
by Carol Poster
The health insurance regulatory landscape in the United States may soon be changing in ways that offer new opportunities and new hazards for freelancers and entrepreneurs. The new opportunities are ones that allow sole proprietors to join Association Health Plans, Short Term Health Plans to be extended from a three-month to a 364-day maximum period, and both to be sold across state lines. The hazards are that these plans pose substantial financial risks and may destabilize ACA marketplaces, making insurance more expensive for many people.
Although the proposed new regulations are still works-in-progress, as health insurance enrollment periods for 2019 approach, freelancers should pay careful attention to changes affecting Association Health Plans and Short-Term Health Insurance Plans, which are now being touted as possible alternatives to ACA marketplaces. While both these types of plans may be promoted as offering lower premiums than ACA-compliant plans, experts have raised significant questions about their quality of coverage, including cherry-picking only the healthiest customers, allowing age and gender discrimination, limiting coverage of pre-existing conditions, having lifetime benefit caps, offering no or limited coverage of many common conditions, and, in the case of AHPs, potential financial insolvency.