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  • Washington Highlights

    House, Senate Democratic Leaders Send Letter on Short-Term Insurance Plans

    Jason Kleinman, Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations

    House and Senate Democratic health care leaders sent a letter Jan. 8 to members of the Trump Administration requesting additional information about the administration’s final rule on short-term, limited duration health insurance plans.

    The letter, sent by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Ways and Means Chair Committee Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott (D-Va.), along with Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), asks a series of questions about the administration’s process for promulgating the final rule. This is the third letter these members of Congress have sent on this topic to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

    The congressional leaders expressed their concern about short-term, limited duration plans, stating, “these discriminatory, deceptive, and insufficient plans will leave consumers exposed to great financial risk and will increase costs for individuals with preexisting conditions who need comprehensive coverage.” They requested answers to their previous letters, as well as information on how the administration crafted its final rulemaking.

    The final rule allows consumers to purchase short-term, limited duration plans for a maximum duration of up to one year with the option to renew these plans for up to a total of three years [see Washington Highlights, Aug. 3, 2018]. These plans are not required to comply with the requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152). The AAMC submitted comments in opposition to the proposed rule, noting that expanding access to these plans will create serious issues concerning segmentation of the insurance market, as well as increased patient exposure to inadequate health care coverage [see Washington Highlights, April 27, 2018].