Local healthcare could feel impacts from Trump’s order against ACA

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some are saying an executive order signed this week by President Donald Trump will cause dramatically hiking health insurance prices for millions.

How will the new executive order on Healthcare, signed by President Trump this week affect coverage in Shelby County?

For those answers, you can't go to our local Obamacare Office. When we went this week, the office was completely empty.

So, we turned to an expert on the phone.

"Most people will see very little change from last year," said Tony Garr, Board Member with Tennessee Healthcare Campaign.

Garr said there will be no major change at all if you currently have healthcare through the Healthcare Exchange.

Premiums are expected to go up as much as 98 percent in Shelby County, but an increase in cost-sharing incentives and tax benefits will offset those costs.

"As the premiums went up, so did the cost-sharings went up," Garr said.

Garr said President Trump's executive order will allow customers to buy cheaper plans, but with consumer protections promised under Obamacare removed, such as pre-existing conditions.

He calls these healthcare plans "junk plans."

"It has all these caveats, it won't cover this, it won't cover that," Garr said. "It may cost less because it covers less. And we call it junk policies because that's what they are."

"The way I feel, is that the work continues, because this is a direct attempt to undermine the ACA," Allison Donald said.

Donald handles healthcare for the sick and disabled. She also lives with cerebral palsy herself and is a local health care advocate. She's worried about her coverage and the state of healthcare in the U.S.

"I think the effect is going to be dire on people, the quality of healthcare you're going to receive," Donald said.

But according to Garr, the critical thing to remember is the changes to Obamacare have not taken effect.

You can still get a great plan this year when enrollment begins again December 15, and he said shopping again if you have coverage never hurts.

President Trump and other Republicans have said the payments violate the Constitution because they were never specifically authorized by Congress.

The president tweeted that "millions" of people will be helped by the executive order and pointed out insurance stock prices fell sharply after the news.

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