Two issuers of “individual health insurance products other than major medical insurance” are hoping Trump administration regulation changes will make sales soar later this year.
Executives from Independence Holding Company (IHC) and Health Insurance Innovations Inc. talked about their expectations for the short-term health insurance market in the past two weeks when they have announced their first-quarter earnings.
Roy T.K. Thung, the chief executive officer at IHC, said his Stamford, Connecticut-based company has been investing heavily in short-term health insurance lead-generation systems call centers and products, in part to take advantage of the new opportunities.
Thung mentioned both the proposed short-term health insurance changes and a new federal tax law. The tax law is on track to eliminate the Affordable Care Act penalty on individuals who fail to have what the government classifies as solid major medical coverage starting in 2019.
“We believe that these developments, and the expecting continuing increases in [ACA- compliant coverage] premiums, will make our alternatives much more attractive as individuals compare prices and benefits when the 2019 open enrollment period begins,” Thung said in a statement.
Gavin Southwell, president of Health Insurance Innovations, said his company has been investing its consumer portal and working to expand distribution in response to all of the changes.
“There is a huge addressable opportunity here,” Southwell said in a conference call with securities analysts.
The Short-Term Health Insurance Duration Fight
Trump administration officials have proposed canceling the current 90-day duration limit on short-term health insurance coverage.
The administration of former President Barack Obama said the limit protects consumers against buying policies that fail to meet Affordable Care Act requirements, and that the limit protects issuers of individual major coverage against competitors that hold prices down by watering down the benefits.