Indiana lawmakers weigh in on health care executive order

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — What does the president’s executive order mean for Hoosiers?

24-Hour News 8 went straight to the experts for answers on what people in central Indiana need to know.

Several Affordable Care Act experts said you don’t need to panic, but you do have homework to do.

“I would just tell people to not freak out yet,” said Susan Rider, an insurance benefits expert with Gregory and Appel in Indianapolis.

Thousands of Hoosiers under the ACA are wondering what will happen to their health coverage.

“As an individual, the only impact that I see would be the short-term health insurance market,” said Jonathan Mayo, a personal insurance adviser with Gregory & Appel.

Mayo said that if you have insurance through your job, there should be no change.

Mayo said he sees President Trump’s new executive order as a win for Hoosiers, because it allows more time to buy short-term insurance, for instance if someone is between jobs and needs coverage.

“In the executive order, it appears it may be almost a year-term that you can buy health insurance,” Mayo explained.

The executive order would also allow people to buy insurance across state lines, but Mayo said there’s not a plan of that kind that Hoosiers can buy right now.

Mayo had a reminder for those people who use Obamacare: Open enrollment starts Nov. 1.

“As a consumer, you need to do your research, get online, find a broker and make a decision in half the time as you had previously,” Mayo explained.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said he’s worried Hoosiers could end up paying more for health care.

“For those with pre-existing conditions, coverage becomes almost unaffordable, because the way this works is that the younger and the healthier will be leaving the exchanges,” Donnelly explained Thursday afternoon

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind, said he thinks the executive order is a step in the right direction.

“I do. It’s an imperfect way to solve this. Ideally, you’d have the Republicans and Democrats working on a sustainable solution, but we tried that in recent weeks. It didn’t work out,”  Young explained.

Bottom line, Mayo says not to panic: “Do your homework. But you really need to start that homework on Nov. 1.”