The AAMC submitted comments Aug. 2 to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in support of the proposed changes to limit the scope of short-term, limited-duration (STLD) plans. The letter noted that the AAMC supports providing customers access to affordable, comprehensive insurance options. However, STLD health insurance does not provide comprehensive coverage that consumers need, such as coverage of essential health benefits. Plans with limited benefits and high patient cost sharing drive consumers’ medical debt.
STLD insurance can impose significant coverage limitations, including the exclusion of preexisting conditions, mental and behavioral health services, and prescription drugs, which many consumers may not be aware of when purchasing an STLD health plan. It is only when consumers attempt to receive care will they realize the full impact of the limited coverage offered by these plans.
The comments noted that these limitations can disproportionately impact underserved communities that may be more vulnerable to aggressive or misleading marketing practices and misinformation. Insufficient coverage for needed health care results in poorer health outcomes for patients and may lead to the use of high-cost services, such as emergency department visits or hospitalizations that could have been prevented if adequate care were available earlier.