President Trump launches new short-term, limited duration health insurance options for consumers
Since his inauguration in 2016, President Trump has sought to dismantle Obamacare but has been repeatedly challenged. Now, he seeks to undercut it by launching new flexible healthcare plans, with new rules attached within the short-term, limited-duration insurance options on offer in October 2018.
The insurance plans will cover longer periods than the previous two months and can now cover periods of less than 12 months, up to 36 months in order to target those who are unable to afford high premiums.
At present, up to 28mn Americans are without insurance coverage, according to the Centers for Disease Control, leading the new plans to be up to 80% cheaper than traditional Obama led insurance plans.
Donald Trump has stated that the plans will be “much less expensive healthcare at a much lower price. Will cost our country nothing. We’re finally taking care of our people.”
However, the plans have been hit with fierce criticism from many, where critics have deemed the plan as ‘junk insurance.’ The plans will not cover existing medical conditions, pregnancy, prescription drugs, or substance abuse, alongside no guarantee that such plans will be renewed, The Guardian has reported.
- Microsoft files a patent for a new innovative blood pressure monitor
- Drug screening – improving the testing process
- Walgreens introduces new digital marketplace to compete with Amazon
“For many who’ve got pre-existing conditions or who have other health worries, the Obamacare plans might be right for them,” health and human services secretary Alex Azar said. “We’re just providing more options.”
“We make no representation that it’s equivalent coverage,” added Jim Parker, a senior adviser at HHS. “But what we do know is that there are individuals today who have been priced out of coverage.”
However, health experts have warned that with such limited coverage, consumers will be opening themselves up to a number of risks, where they may not be able to access essential care at times of need. Additionally, for those that switch, premiums could be set to rise further.
"There's so little regulation of these products. It's a buyer beware situation" Sabrina Corlette, research professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University informed CNBC.
However, the move will lead to increased competition within the health insurance industry, where providers will look to further transform their service offerings.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”