Trump administration releases final rule on short-term, limited duration health plans

New rule could leave consumers with inadequate coverage

Published on August 6, 2018

Contact: Lisa Berry Edwards

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Trump administration this week released its final rule on short-term, limited duration health plans, leaving some consumers open to inadequate health coverage. Set to take effect in two months, the rule will expand the current duration of these plans from three months to one year, with the potential to renew for a maximum of three years.

Short-term plans were designed to help consumers transitioning between health care plans to fill coverage gaps, but they do not offer comprehensive coverage and are not subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements, such as essential health benefits and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Most of these plans do not cover screenings, which means that cancers will be detected in later stages, when treatment outcomes are less likely to be successful. Those who receive a cancer diagnosis while on short-term plans will also be left without adequate coverage for treatment and care.

The Trump administration says the goal of this new rule is to provide more affordable health care options, but these plans are likely to attract younger, healthier people and could increase health care costs in the ACA marketplaces for ALL consumers. Since implementation falls to the states, some may choose to further restrict short term plans within their borders.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® supports increasing access to health care, but expanding access to plans that provide inadequate coverage could have serious consequences. If you have questions about insurance in your state, contact your insurance commissioner’s office.

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