USA health officials seek to expand short-term health coverage

Dems decry Obama Care change as new attempt at 'sabotage'

Greg Nash

Short-term, limited-duration insurance is generally more affordable than ACA-compliant plans.

Democrats denounced the proposal as another attempt by Trump to sabotage the health law.

Sen. Chris Murphy also said the Trump administration move is the latest effort to undermine the ACA.

Myth #3: Short-Term Health Plans Are Not As Cheap As People Think - Short-term plans are created to serve populations with an immediate need for low-priced coverage, the most common reason being job loss.

HHS, along with the departments of Labor and Treasury, is proposing new rules that would expand access to short-term insurance policies. Under Obama, short-term plans were limited to periods of no longer than three months.

The plans aren't really aimed at the sick or elderly, their goal is to fill the coverage gap in Idaho, Jeppesen said. "That means we will no longer be penalized for buying coverage that doesn't meet all the Obamacare rules".

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.

"We shouldn't be in the business of providing people with worse care", said Sam Berger, who worked in the Obama White House.

Though the plans are delivering health care coverage in a way that is more accessible, there are chances that people are going to avert from it. The real risk is to taxpayers, as the subsidies increase with premiums, which are rising with or without a short-term option.

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.

HHS said the plans are a temporary solution for people who are in between jobs or don't like their current policy and searching for long-term alternative.

The secretary and administrator also stressed that of the 6.7 million people who paid the ACA's individual mandate penalty in 2015, 79% earned less than $50,000 a year.

The proposals have been publicly championed, on the other hand, by chain retailers and chain restaurants, some of the nation's largest employers of uninsured workers. Because these plans don't offer comprehensive coverage and have higher deductibles and higher caps for out-of-pocket costs, people on these plans "take a risk that, if they do need medical care, they could be left with uncovered bills", the Kaiser Family Foundation found. "They should have never changed it in the first place". Otter said he viewed the repeal of the penalty as a green light for states to make much more far-reaching changes to rules governing the sale of health insurance.

The insurance industry opposes both these maneuvers. "Women disproportionately rely on every one of the (essential health benefits) EHB standards - not just maternity coverage - and would be disproportionately affected by the rollback of these services", Mistie Tolman, Idaho Legislative Director for Planned Parenthood said in a news release.

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 past year, rather than turning to skimpier plans.

Under such plans, health insurers can exclude people with pre-existing conditions and charge more for certain health conditions.

On Tuesday morning, the Trump administration issued a proposed rule regarding short-term health insurance plans. The people who could benefit most from an alternative are those the law has slammed: Americans above 400% of the poverty line-a couple making about $65,000-who have been coerced to buy a product without subsidies.

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