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Earlier this week the Trump Administration issued proposed rules to allow the sale of junk health insurance plans that won’t have to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage rules or protections. Under the Administration rule, insurers could sell temporary “skinny” plans that could lure younger, healthier consumers away from ACA-compliant plans.

Unfortunately, consumers who choose these junk plans won’t have critical comprehensive coverage when they need care and coverage the most. Other consumers remaining in the individual market, including those with pre-existing conditions or more significant health needs, would be left with higher costs.  The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that “The proposal itself acknowledges that it “may further reduce choices for individuals remaining in the individual market risk pool” by weakening states’ individual markets, and that “consumers who purchase short-term, limited-duration insurance policies and then develop chronic conditions could face financial hardship as a result.” (emphasis added)

The ACA requires insurers to cover essential health benefits such as emergency services, hospitalization, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and more. Any attempt to weaken these essential benefits or other consumer protections and deny people comprehensive care is unacceptable and must be rejected.  

Comments on the rule are due on April 23rd and we encourage everyone to submit comments.

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