Sep 26, 2018

Trump Administration Sued Over Short-Term Health Plans Offering Limited Benefits

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A lawsuit accuses President Donald Trump’s Treasury, Labor and HHS secretaries of weakening Americans’ access to life-saving medical care by letting the rule regarding short-term plans bypass the ACA’s essential health benefit and pre-existing condition requirements, according to reports. 

According to the Trump Administration: This final rule amends the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance for purposes of its exclusion from the definition of individual health insurance coverage. This action is being taken to lengthen the maximum duration of short-term, limited-duration insurance, which will provide more affordable consumer choices for health coverage. 

To date, California governor has signed bans  under Senate Bill 910, on the sale of short-term health plans that have the ability to deny or limit coverage based on an individual’s medical history. The current Administration’s attempts to manage the affordability portion of the Affordable Care Act by promoting short-term health care choices has been seen as damaging to chronically ill patients who cant pay their medical bills by promoting a false sense of security in plans that offer little care, while on the other hand it benefits healthier adults who dont require coverage for a chronic disease but want to spend less on health insurance premiums.  According to news sources, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 2 million Americans will take advantage of short-term plans.

Short-term plans are less expensive than plans sold through state health insurance exchanges (ACA) such as covered in many states. The negative aspects of those plans however, mean a decrease in the number of benefits provided to patients, including but not limited to coverage for maternity care, mental health services or pre-existing conditions. The Obama administration prohibited insurers from offering those plans for longer than three months under Obamacare. Under the Trump administration’s rule, these short-term plans will be renewable for up to three years but insurers will have the ability to raise rates each year.



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