The Trump administration on Wednesday said it will allow insurers to sell short-term health care plans as a cheaper option to ObamaCare but the policies will not cover maternity care, prescription drug costs or pre-existing conditions.
President Trump has touted the plans as “much less expensive healthcare at a much lower price” and said it would provide coverage to millions of Americans who don’t require extensive coverage and don’t want to pay the higher premiums that come with ObamaCare.
“For many who’ve got pre-existing conditions or who have other health worries, the ObamaCare plans might be right for them,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told “Fox & Friends.” “We’re just providing more options.”
The administration said the plans can last up to 12 months and will be allowed to be extended to a maximum of three years – reversing Obama-era rules that limited the coverage to no more than three months.
The plans will also carry a disclaimer that they don’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements and safeguards.
“We make no representation that it’s equivalent coverage,” Jim Parker, a senior adviser at HHS told the Associated Press. “But what we do know is that there are individuals today who have been priced out of coverage.”
Critics have blasted the plans as “junk insurance” because their limited coverage could lead to higher costs for policyholders who become seriously ill or force them to forego care entirely.
They also argue that they’re just another way for the administration to undercut the Affordable Care Act by enticing healthy people from its markets and causing premiums to rise even more for those who remain.
According to estimates, the administration said short-term plan premiums could be about a third of the cost of comprehensive coverage – about $160 a month or even less.
The administration expects about 600,000 people to enroll in a short-term plan in 2019, with as many as 200,000 dropping out of ObamaCare to take advantage of the cheaper coverage.
With Post Wires
Published at Wed, 01 Aug 2018 14:43:24 +0000