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Call it TrumpCare Now: Regulatory Changes Diminish the Affordable Care Act to the Detriment of Family Caregivers

April 18, 2017

While wholesale repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed to get the required votes for passage out of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Trump Administration has issued new regulations that will increase the cost of insurance premiums and make it harder to enroll in coverage in 2018.

Why is this important for family caregivers? Caregiving families, like a fair percentage of Americans, may rely on the private insurance market for coverage because they do not receive coverage at their jobs, or work several part-time jobs that lack coverage, or have stepped out of the employment market to provide care. Or, their relative who needs assistance is not eligible for Medicaid and needs health care coverage.

While more than 4,000 people submitted comments during the 21-day comment period (previous comment periods have typically spanned 60 to 90 days), urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) not to make changes in the ACA, the Trump Administration issued regulatory changes that would:

  • Increase health insurance deductibles
  • Reduce financial assistance with premiums
  • Shorten the annual enrollment period
  • Create more roadblocks to enrolling outside of the enrollment period
  • Weaken federal standards for health network adequacy

Families USA has an excellent blog piece that goes into more detail about these changes: https://familiesusa.org/blog/2017/04/president-trump-aca-changes-will-increase-costs-consumers-make-it-harder-enroll.

What can you as a family caregiver do, if you are affected by these changes? You can contact your federal elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives or in the Senate to let them know of any problems you face in securing adequate health care insurance.

If you are interested in reading more about how changing supports for health insurance premiums, increasing deductibles, and other policies now under discussion within the Trump Administration may affect the health insurance exchanges next year, here is an excellent article from the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/04/11/this-is-how-obamacare-might-actually-explode/?utm_term=.f9d5bfb3b680.

— Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director, Family Caregiver Alliance