Trending News Today: Idaho Violates ACA Law with 'Skinny' Health Plans

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Blue Cross of Idaho said yesterday that it will be selling “skinny” health plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to Bloomberg. The insurer said these plans feature lower premiums but come with fewer protections. Certain patients, including those with preexisting conditions, may be subject to higher annual spending limits or may even be denied coverage, which is illegal under the health law, according to the article.

US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar recently said he will uphold the ACA as long as it is the law, The Hill reported. Azar responded to questions about the controversial skinny health plans in Idaho by saying that he must enforce the law. Democrats have said the Idaho proposal is legally questionable and have pressed Azar to step in and stop it from moving forward, according to the article.

A recent HHS report projected that health care spending will increase faster than the American economy through 2026, according to The Hill. Spending on health care is estimated to account for up to 19.7% of the economy and is projected to reach $5.7 trillion in 2026. The HHS said that this drastic increase is related to price hikes for medical products and services used by baby boomers, according to the article.