Does Trumpcare Exist?

When President Trump took office, one of his campaign promises was to get rid of Obamacare also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and replace it with new health care. Trump delivered on this campaign promise, providing Americans with Trumpcare, also known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Trumpcare was voted on, and passed in the House on May 4, 2017. Since being passed, the number of Americans getting health insurance has gone up by 7 million. There are some similarities between Obamacare and Trumpcare. So why have Americans been signing up for insurance more now with Trumpcare?

Chart with blue bars increasing in size with a red line drawn over them.
Since Trumpcare was introduced, more Americans have been signing up for health insurance.

Short Term Plans

Short term plans used to have limitations of 3 months. As of October 1st, 2018, the short term health plans have a one-year policy term. Short term health insurance provides fast, flexible insurance with many benefits. You may pick your deductible amount from many options. You are also able to drop coverage without a penalty for a long term insurance option. Premiums are lower than ACA health insurance plans, and you get coverage as soon as a day after applying. 

Once someone signs up for a one-year short term plan, they may potentially renew it for up to three years. Insurers can ask medical questions and possibly reject consumers due to pre-existing conditions for a short-term policy. Once approved for the plan, if a consumer develops a ‘pre-existing condition’, rejection can occur during the renewal process

Individual Mandate

Obamacare enforced an individual mandate penalty for Americans who did not have insurance. The individual mandate was the requirement of people to obtain health insurance for the year, and if not then you had to pay a penalty during tax season. In December 2017, President Trump eliminated the individual mandate from Obamacare. Trump did away with the individual mandate because Republicans believed it discouraged people from buying insurance that costs just as much as the uninsured penalty. 

Pre-existing Conditions

Like Obamacare, Trumpcare protects people with pre-existing conditions. People who stay insured, without a gap in coverage, will not pay a price for health insurance based on pre-existing conditions. No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started. However, Trumpcare has given the states authority to change the pricing for people who do not stay insured

A sign with "health" on it point to the right with another sign below it saying "illness" pointing to the other.
Pre-existing conditions are covered under Trumpcare, but people with them may have to pay more.

year round. In other words, once you choose to be uninsured, and stay uninsured for an extended period of time, you will face a higher rate for health insurance due to your pre-existing conditions. 

Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program

Trumpcare created the Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program. It is a pool of funds the government sets aside to assist insurance companies in covering people with high expenses (people with pre-existing conditions). The risk pools are invisible to the customer. This means that high medical cost individuals would not know they’re in the risk pool. They are expected to pay the same cost for insurance as healthy people.

Trumpcare does exist, and has been slowly replacing Obamacare. Getting rid of the individual mandate, and extending short term plan’s length has been Trumpcare’s biggest changes, and main focus. These changes were made in hopes of getting more Americans to sign up for insurance, because the more that people sign up (especially healthy people), then the lower the insurance costs will be. Since more Americans have been signing up for health insurance, hopefully the costs will begin to go down.