Thank you to all responders!!!

The California State Rural Health Association expresses our gratitude and thanks to the thousands of responders - firefighters, police, health care staff, veterinary staff, rescue organizations and the hundreds of community volunteers - that are working heroically to save our northern California communities under siege from the devastating wildfires.  

Executive Order Signed on Health Care

October 12, 2017 This morning, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to allow small businesses to purchase what are known as "association health plans." These plans are a form of insurance in which similar small businesses can group together through an association to negotiate health benefits. Association plans are not required to cover some serious medical conditions, and are overall less regulated than more traditional insurance plans.

The order also includes an expansion of short-term insurance policies, sometimes known as bridge policies, which are often available to individuals ineligible for other plans because of employment, age, or other factors. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these plans only last 3 months; however, under President Trump's Executive Order, they could be extended for up to a year. These plans often charge more to those who are very sick and need more coverage, and they are able to deny individuals with pre-existing conditions. Both association health plans and short-term policies have lower benefit requirements than are required under the ACA.

This is the administration's largest step forward to change the market established under the ACA. NRHA is evaluating the effects this will have on the quality, affordability, and availability of healthcare on our members and on rural communities. We will update you here with more information soon.  from National Rural Health Association

President Orders Elimination of Cost-Sharing Subsidies

Late Thursday evening, the White House announced it would stop paying key subsidies, known as “cost-sharing reductions,” that compensate insurers for providing discounts on deductibles, copays and other out-of-pocket costs to low-income consumers.  These cost reductions are available to policyholders in the Obamacare exchanges with incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $30,000 in income a year for an individual. The subsidies, which are separate from the tax credits that help millions of people pay their premiums, have been the subject of a lawsuit that is ongoing.  The tax credits are not affected by Trump’s decision.  Trump’s move to end the cost-sharing subsidies is intended to take effect immediately, but it could hit a legal roadblock after California, along with 17 other states and the District of Columbia, filed a lawsuit Friday to stop it. - from California Healthline

California Files Lawsuit on Federal Cost-Sharing Elimination 

(California is among nearly 20 states that have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump over his decision to stop payments that lower health insurance deductibles and co-pays for millions of Americans with modest incomes.  Attorneys general from Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York are also among those announcing they had filed the lawsuit in federal court in California. Trump said Thursday he would end the cost-sharing subsidies.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and others say Trump is not following federal law in ending a legally mandated system that already is operating.  Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says Trump's action would raise health insurance prices enough that healthier people will flee the insurance markets, resulting in higher costs for those who remain. - from