Policies would have limited health benefits and customers could be rejected if they have pre-existing medical conditions.
The plans are meant to offer people limited coverage if they are between jobs or in need of insurance during a life transition.
Under the Affordable Care Act, short-term plans can last up to three months. But the Trump administration wants to extend that time limit to a year, or more.
Short-term plans don’t have to include the minimum essential health benefits — such as mental health care or prescription coverage — that have to be included in an ACA-compliant policy. And insurance companies can refuse to offer coverage to someone with a pre-existing medical condition, or charge people more money if they’re likely to need more care.
Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which also runs the federal ACA exchange, says she expects between 100,000 and 200,000 people will drop their ACA coverage in exchange for stripped down, short-term plans.
And she says she expects millions of people who currently have no coverage will opt to buy a short-term policy to get minimum coverage.
Read the report from National Public Radio
In a statement released by HHS, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said:
Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs. The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices. The Trump Administration is taking action so individuals and families have access to quality, affordable healthcare that works for them.
Read the HHS statement on the proposed change in policy.
A fact sheet on today’s proposed rule can be found here:
Read the proposed rule as published in The Federal Register
Public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on April 23
HealthLeadersMedia reports American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack came out against the proposal Tuesday.
Today’s proposed rule is a step in the wrong direction for patients and health care providers because it would allow insurers to sell products that do not constitute true ‘insurance’. These products would appear cheaper to consumers, but would do so at a significant cost: by covering fewer benefits and ensuring fewer patient protections, such as coverage of pre-existing medical conditions.