President Biden is utilizing his rule-making authority to address and close loopholes that enable insurers and healthcare providers to exploit patients. By implementing new regulations and strengthening existing ones, the administration aims to create a more transparent and fair healthcare system that safeguards patients from deceptive practices and ensures their rights and well-being are protected. This initiative underscores the administration’s commitment to holding insurers and healthcare providers accountable for their actions and prioritizing the best interests of patients.
The Biden administration is taking steps to close loopholes that allow health care providers and insurers to exploit patient protections in the Affordable Care Act and the No Surprises Act. President Biden announced new measures to crack down on “junk insurance” plans, which are short-term plans that do not provide comprehensive coverage and often exclude protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Under the proposed rules, these plans will be limited to three months and will have to clearly disclose what they cover and what they do not.
The administration is also providing new guidance under the No Surprises Act to prevent health care providers from sending patients surprise bills for out-of-network services, such as bringing in a non-network doctor during an in-network hospital visit. The goal is to ensure that consumers are held harmless and not caught in the middle of billing disputes.
In addition, three federal agencies – Health and Human Services, Treasury, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – are working together to protect patients from unfair medical debt. The agencies will address issues such as medical credit cards with high interest rates and limited dispute resolution options.
These actions reflect the Biden administration’s strategy of using agency rule-making to advocate for consumer protections in the absence of comprehensive legislation. With a divided Congress, President Biden has been unable to pass sweeping laws, so he is making changes through agency rules to strengthen existing laws and regulations.
The administration’s focus on consumer protection extends beyond health care. President Biden has taken steps to address issues such as credit card late fees, hidden fees in hotel bills and airfare, and high service fees for online ticket purchases. By capping credit card late fees, promoting transparency in fee disclosures, and making hearing aids available without a prescription, the administration aims to save consumers money and prevent them from being ripped off.
President Biden also plans to negotiate lower drug prices under Medicare and will reveal the first 10 prescription drugs subject to negotiation in September. This negotiation is part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which House Republicans are seeking to undo. The president emphasized that pharmaceutical companies will still be profitable even with lower prices and expressed his commitment to preventing Americans from being ripped off.
Overall, the Biden administration is taking various actions to close loopholes, increase transparency, and protect consumers in sectors such as health care and finance.