Trump’s health care reform plans turn out to offer potential career windfall for me. I haven’t considered it in any detail because the election came as such a surprise. In fact, I haven’t even seriously considered the details or impact of the proposed Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. This blog post simply summarizes the first three major points of the Trump plan:
The Ability to purchase insurance across state lines – This takes power away from states and allows consumers and businesses to purchase coverage that is available to those who live outside of their location. The plan has merit and I’ve long been a proponent of it. There is no fundamental reason why consumers should not be able to enter into a private commercial contract with a company in another state. The issue is that there are very few insurance advisers who are licensed in all 50 states and DC. I have held these insurance licenses in all states since the 1990s and have advised over 100,000 small businesses across the country on both insurance and non-insurance health care issues. I monitor health reform news in all states for Freedom Benefits and other industry web sites. While the cost of maintaining these licenses and meeting continuing education requirements has been a significant personal burden to me for so many years, it appears that the move might pay off now. That health care consulting business called Freedom Benefits was valued at more than a million dollars before Obamacare but has been limping along since then. It appears that Freedom Benefits may be back in business.
Uninsured benefit plans – The Trump plan embraces the expansion of Health Savings Accounts and revitalization of similar uninsured plans like Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) that are practically banned now under the Affordable Care Act. But like other things in business, making these plans work is not as simple as it might first appear. I’ve spent years developing the fine points of these various benefit plans for specific small business situations and I enjoy small consulting engagements working with other accountants setting these plans up for maximum probability of success.
Medicaid independence – Neither federal lawmakers nor the private health insurance industry has been effective in dealing with health care low income people. Private companies working directly with state government – without federal interference – is the way to go. Health insurance and benefits management companies where I am a minor stockholder, but not currently active in another role, stand to benefit from this transition.
I’ve been honored to be recognized as an authority on these topics including mentions in publications like The Wall Street Journal and Money Magazine. I was asked to testify before Congress on the need for small business uninsured health plans. A university press published and sold my presentations and recording on Health Savings Accounts a decade ago. More recently I’ve been asked to write articles, speak at seminars and delivered webinars to industry groups on the Affordable Care Act. The staff at New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants considered me their “go to guy” when they received a media inquiry about health care reform. It appears that some of this experience may be revitalized in the new Trump economy.
Done correctly, small businesses clearly stand to save money from the Trump reform. Some individuals will inevitably be happy with the changes, others not so. Beyond this, there is a likelihood that the few million consumers now paying full price for Obamacare would be eligible for lower priced coverage. But providing well-informed and impartial advice on the alternatives and avoiding the potential risks and even scams will inevitably become a growth industry.