No thanks, Trump: Insurers show little interest in selling across state lines

Part of Donald Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to allow insurers to sell across state lines in order to increase competition. One problem: States can already enable them to do so, but insurers don’t seem interested.

The Hill reported the ACA includes a largely forgotten provision allowing states to join into “healthcare choice compacts” to let companies sell insurance across state lines beginning in Jan. 2016. Customers could buy health coverage from another state which wouldn’t be subjected to their home state’s regulations, as long as state legislators pass laws to allow such agreements.

Thirteen states have attempted to pass those laws. Only three—Georgia, Kentucky and Maine—have succeeded, but none have reached agreements with other states. As far for the actual insurers who would be doing the selling, they aren’t exactly rallying behind these policies.

“Insurers aren’t interested at this point,” Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow on health policy at the Urban Institute, said to The Hill. “It’s kind of a lot of effort for no necessary return.”

Furthermore, the single biggest issue that killed earlier attempts at interstate insurance offerings remains a problem now. A new insurer would have to find enough providers and hospitals to contract with in a state where it doesn’t have existing relationships.

“Creating the network is not such a simple thing,” said Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Hittner, MD. “You have to really worry about network adequacy.”

For more on why conservative health experts still back the proposal, click on the link below: