Trump health-care order could violate retirement plan law

U.S. President Donald Trump at an announcement of a brand new program to provide medical care to veterans at The White House on Aug. 3, 2017.

Chris Kleponis | Pool | Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump at an announcement of a brand new program to provide medical care to veterans at The White House on Aug. 3, 2017.

President Donald Trump’s plan to make in which easier for smaller businesses to band together along with buy stripped-down health insurance plans could violate a federal law governing employee benefit plans along with will almost certainly be challenged in court, legal experts said.

Trump signed an executive order on Thursday aimed at letting smaller businesses join nationwide associations for the purpose of buying large-group health plans in which are not subject to coverage
requirements of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Industry experts said Trump’s order could ultimately enable such associations to purchase insurance coming from states with the fewest regulations. in which would likely undermine Obamacare, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, which Republicans have failed to repeal.

Several healthcare along with employment law experts said if Trump’s plan moves forward, states could argue the federal government had overstepped its authority in violation of the U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a law in which governs large-group plans.

In Thursday’s order, Trump asked the Department of Labor to propose rules in which would likely allow more employers to participate in association health plans. Legal experts said lawsuits might not
be brought until such regulations are issued.

Dania Palanker, an assistant research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, said ERISA granted states the right to regulate association health plans.

Attorneys general could argue the federal government had overreached if the Trump administration winds up allowing associations to buy health coverage across borders in which only complies with one particular state’s regulations.

“Any attempt to allow the sale of association plans to smaller groups across state lines will be open to legal scrutiny as to whether in which can be violating ERISA along with undermining state authority,”
said Palanker.

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