Trending News Today: Trump Administration Expands Short-Term Non-Obamacare Health Plans

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

The Clinton Health Access Initiative and several other development agencies have brokered an agreement to make routine HIV viral load tests more accessible by cutting costs, NPR reported. According to the article, the goal of the program is to make HIV viral load tests available for $12 a piece, lowering prices in some markets by more than 50%. A private diagnostic company called Hologic will provide all the equipment and supplies needed to run these tests and get paid for each sample analyzed, the article reported.

The Trump administration finalized rules expanding short-term non-Obamacare health plans so that they can last up to 1 year, as opposed to the 3-month limit imposed under former President Obama, The Hill reported. According to the article, the administration indicated that these plans offer lower premiums for healthy people; however, insurers have warned that the move will raise premiums for people remaining in Obamacare plans. The administration is allowing the short-term plans to be renewed to add up to a total length of 3 years, the article reported.

A new analysis has found that enrollment in the individual health insurance market has declined 12% in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year, The Hill reported. According to the article, the analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed enrollment in the individual market grew substantially after the Affordable Care Act and remained steady in 2016, before dropping by 12% in 2017. The study noted that much of the decline is concentrated in the off-exchange market, in which many enrollees are not eligible for Obamacare subsidies and not protected from significant premium increases in 2017 and 2018, the article reported.