Trump administration proposal to extend short-term health insurance options

Trump administration proposal to extend short-term health insurance options

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Tuesday it was proposing a rule to extend the maximum length of short-term health coverage to 12 months, an increase from the current three months.

October 2017: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE cancels key ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions, which reimburse insurers for giving discounts to low-income enrollees.

It's the latest step taken by the Trump administration to open up cheaper, less-comprehensive insurance options as an alternative to people signing up for ObamaCare.

"You can bet that insurance companies will aggressively market these plans to healthy, middle class people who find themselves priced out of the ACA-compliant market", he said.

Democrats have proposed expanding federal aid for Americans to buy health care and taking more modest steps to stabilize premiums on Obamacare's exchanges, some of which are included in bipartisan legislation negotiated in the Senate a year ago, rather than turning to skimpier plans.

"This new rule demonstrates this administration's intent to replace comprehensive coverage for individuals and their families with plans so unreliable they can not rightly be considered health insurance".

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the plans, which don't meet the legal requirements for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, will allow consumers who can't afford insurance now to find cheaper plans. Insurers could also charge consumers more if an individual's medical history discloses health problems.

But Badger said short-term, limited duration plans were ideal for healthy, younger people who lose group insurance because of a layoff.

That could ultimately split insurance markets in two, creating one cheaper market for healthy people and a second, more costly market for sick patients who need more extensive coverage.

The Administration said its goal is to give people more insurance options at a time when premiums have been rising.

Still, experts argue that these plans could end up exposing consumers to large gaps in their coverage and unexpected, high costs.

The plans are an attempt to provide coverage to people who cannot afford insurance in the ACA marketplace, are now between jobs or another temporary situation that could mean no coverage. That means consumers with such plans would legally be considered uninsured, putting them at risk of fines. The administration estimates monthly premiums for a short-term plan could be about than one-third of what a comprehensive policy costs. This is a commitment not to improve health care for Americans, but to make the lives of the poor and sick miserable because (I believe) too many conservatives have a theological objection to allowing the government to help them.

But if the market for short-term plans proves popular, Custer said, all the impacts feared by advocates such as Colbert could happen.

Tuesday's proposal follows another administration regulation that would allow groups to offer "association" health plans also exempt from ACA requirements to small businesses and sole proprietors.

Insurers also aren't required to guarantee the renewal of short-term plans, although CMS is requesting comments about what how to best incorporate renewability options.

"The status quo is failing too many Americans, who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices", he said in a statement. And ACA-compliant plans continue to become increasingly expensive for people who don't receive federal assistance.

Stein says it's another attempt, like the elimination of the individual mandate, to undermine the ACA.

Badger said the Obamacare changes reflected Obama's philosophy of one-size-fits-all health care.

Another major change since 2016 is the repeal of ObamaCare's mandate to have insurance, which Republicans did away with in December.

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