U.S. to extend short-term non-Obamacare health insurance to 1 year

Partial-Coverage Health Plans to Get Gov't Boost


The Trump administration on Tuesday made a controversial move to expand access to health insurance plans that do not meet the requirements under ObamaCare.

The change to the short-term plans was set in motion by an executive order President Trump signed in October instructing agencies to ease the burdens placed upon people by ObamaCare.

Republicans argue that these insurance rules have driven up premiums for healthier Americans, especially the roughly 7 million who don't get tax credits that offset premium costs. The Trump administration should work to "reduce the cost of high quality care", rather than repealing ACA provisions that encourage doctors and hospitals to cut costs, Berger said. The short-term plans might also attract people who can't access the providers they want because of the limited networks on their current plan.

The administration also issued separate regulations January 4 that would make it easier to form “ association health plans, ” which are offered to small businesses through membership organizations.

However, short-term coverage won't count as qualifying coverage under the Obama health law for 2018.

As originally written, the Wisconsin bill wouldn't have required associations to provide any of the health care coverage mandated under state law, though the associations would still be regulated by federal law.

It's true that these short-term plans are cheaper. But they're also skimpier than ACA plans, which is why companies that offer them will be required to include a notice in the application materials and contract. Democrats say the actions amount to sabotage that will cause the uninsured rate to rise, and hurt older people and consumers with pre-existing health conditions.

"So for some of those people, these less expensive plans - often one-third the price of Obamacare plans - might be a good option for them", Azar said. But those who actually need care could find themselves having to pay more out of pocket for treatment and medications.

"While these exemptions make these policies low-priced, they also create plans with potentially inadequate coverage", Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a statement. Individuals could buy so-called "short-term" policies for up to 12 months.

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Consumers today can find short-term plans that cost as little as 20% of the least expensive Obamacare plan, according to Pollitz.

The Trump administration is expanding what's called short-term limited-duration insurance.

In its announcement about the proposed rules, the Trump administration said short-term policies are created to fill a temporary gap in coverage.

"If you allow them to sell 364-day policies, or policies that are renewable, that's just going to suck a lot of the healthy people out of the individual market", Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University, told me last fall when Trump issued his executive order. The notice directs consumers to make sure they understand what the plan covers and doesn't cover. The administration expects that consumers within the Obamacare marketplace could experience premium increases of roughly $70 a month.

“This is one step in the direction of providing Americans health insurance options that are more affordable and more suitable to individual and family circumstances.”.

Democrats say the solution is to increase government subsidies, so that more middle-class people will be eligible for taxpayer assistance to buy comprehensive coverage.

One of the main insurance industry groups voiced its concern about the impact of the proposal.

The comment period on the rules ends March 6.

Some insurers that pulled back from the Affordable Care Act marketplace, after losing hundreds of millions of dollars, continue to sell short-term insurance plans. However, the Trump administration is also considering whether to allow the renewal of the short-term plans even beyond 12 months.

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