Skimpy health insurance plans & pre-existing conditions are back under new Trump rule

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The departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury announced new rules Wednesday that make it easier for consumers to replace ACA insurance with these short-term policies.

"This final rule recognizes the role that short-term, limited-duration insurance can fulfill, while at the same time distinguishing it from individual health insurance coverage by interpreting "short-term" to mean an initial contract term of less than 12 months and implementing the "limited-duration" requirement by precluding renewals or extensions that extend a policy beyond a total of 36 months".

Democrats immediately branded Trump's approach as "junk insurance", and a major insurer group warned that consumers could potentially be harmed.

The lawsuit argued that because Congress has not repealed the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is legally known, the U.S. Constitution requires Trump to take care that it, like other laws, is "faithfully executed". "These policies will not necessarily cover the same benefits or extend coverage to the same degree". "We make no representation that it's equivalent coverage". They are suing to force the administration to restore the funding that was slashed for outreach and enrollment assistance, extend the 2019 open enrollment period, and steer people towards comprehensive ACA plans and away from skimpy short-term plans that do not cover pre-existing conditions. Combine this with the four million who may sign up for an association health plan under another recent Trump rule change, and the GOP may expand coverage considerably. They can also deny coverage outright based on pre-existing conditions, refuse to cover any treatment for a pre-existing condition, or find ways to rescind your policy after you've incurred a claim.


That same report expects premiums for ACA plans to increase 15 percent next year, in part because many consumers may be less likely to buy coverage without the threat of a tax penalty.

But many people complained that the policies were too expensive. More short-term plans will be available starting this fall.

HHS cited statistics from 2016 when the average short-term plan premium was $124 compared to $393 on the exchanges. The Trump rule is an attempt to provide people who have left the market with an "alternative option", he said.

Already the vast majority of people who buy ACA coverage through federal or state exchanges qualify for premium subsidies.


Many of those people have been priced out of the health insurance market since the ACA took effect, says Joseph Antos, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute. We're finally taking care of our people'.

The costs of the new plans will be set in the marketplace, but without ObamaCare's mandates they will be cheaper. According to a report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the policies paid out an average 55 percent of their premiums in actual health care past year.

'The insurance company will ask you a series of questions about your health, ' Moriello said.

The Affordable Care Act has been under assault by the Trump administration for more than a year.


Most short-term plans don't cover maternity care, outpatient prescription drugs, and substance abuse or mental health treatment, or they impose tight limits on these benefits; they can refuse to pay for treating conditions they consider pre-existing.

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