Biden Announces Initiatives to Lower Health Care Costs

President Joe Biden recently announced initiatives to lower consumer healthcare costs and crack down on “junk” short-term insurance policies.

The Biden administration plans to place significant limits on the short-term insurance policies that are supposed to provide temporary coverage as people transition between jobs but often deny basic health care coverage. The goal is to close existing loopholes that currently permit health insurance companies to offer short-term coverage that discriminates based on preexisting medical conditions and provides little or no coverage for individuals who purchase the policies. Additionally, insurance companies could no longer offer “short-term” insurance policies lasting as long as three years; instead, these policies would be limited to three or four months.

Biden also announced new guidance on the federal No Surprises Act, enacted in 2020 to eliminate some unexpected medical bills for consumers. Under this guidance, insurers’ ability to contract with hospitals to claim that care is out-of-network, thus costing more for patients, would be limited. Health plans also need to disclose facility fees that increasingly appear in medical bills, to consumers’ surprise.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Treasury have committed to looking into third-party credit cards and other lending practices specifically tailored to pay for medical expenses. The high interest rates and other fees associated with this type of credit can deter some from seeking the medical care they need.

Finally, Biden continues to work toward prescription drug reform. He is expected to roll out a plan allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and place a $35 monthly cap on insulin for people with Medicare Part B.

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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