Executive order could mean soaring health insurance costs for Alabamians with pre-existing conditions

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in response to the White House’s release of a new executive order on health care:

“This executive order risks turning back the clock to the bad old days when many people were priced out of health insurance just because they got sick. Allowing more insurers to sell plans that don’t cover essential health benefits would weaken consumer protections under the guise of promoting consumer choice.

“These changes could open the door to a wave of ‘cheaper’ plans that cost less because they don’t provide as much coverage. By luring in many healthier people, these plans could undermine protections for folks with pre-existing conditions like cancer and diabetes by sending costs soaring for more comprehensive coverage.

“Recent cuts to the Marketplace enrollment period, enrollment assistance and outreach activities already have created unnecessary barriers for consumers and threaten to reverse gains in health coverage and care. Today’s announcement doesn’t immediately change anything, but it sows even more confusion in the health insurance market just as tens of thousands of Alabamians are getting ready to enroll for 2018 coverage. It’s more important than ever for advocates and leaders across our state to ensure that Alabamians have the information they need to find affordable coverage that’s there for them when they need it most.”

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