Legislation Would Stop Administration’s Expansion of Junk Plans in its Tracks, Retain Protections for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions and More

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and a coalition of 29 other Senators  introduced a resolution to block insurers from selling the Trump Administration’s short-term, junk insurance plans that remove protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions and fail to cover essential health benefits like maternity care, mental health treatment and prescription drugs. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“As Senate Republicans continue to push new legislation that takes health care away from people with pre existing conditions in a cynical, election season legislative scam, Senator Baldwin and her colleagues are showing true leadership by working to stop President Trump’s expansion of junk insurance plans in its tracks. If the GOP truly cared about protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, they would join their colleagues on this resolution in taking concrete action to preserve the protections and essential health benefits that tens of millions of Americans depend on — and they would do so immediately.”

BACKGROUND:

Short-Term Plans May Exclude Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions. “Policyholders who get sick may be investigated by the insurer to determine whether the newly-diagnosed condition could be considered pre-existing and so excluded from coverage.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]

  • As Many As 130 Million Nonelderly Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]
  • One in 4 Children Would Be Impacted If Insurance Companies Could Deny Coverage Or Charge More Because Of A Pre-existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]

Junk Plans Mean Higher Premiums For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. By promoting short-term policies, the administration is making a trade-off: lower premiums and less coverage for healthy people, and higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions who need more comprehensive coverage.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

Short-Term Junk Plans Can Refuse To Cover Essential Health Benefits. “Typical short-term policies do not cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health care, preventive care, and other essential benefits, and may limit coverage in other ways.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]

Under Many Short-Term Junk Plans, Benefits Are Capped At $1 Million Or Less. Short-term plans can impose lifetime and annual limits –  “for example, many policies cap covered benefits at $1 million or less.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]

For more information, see Protect Our Care’s fact sheet on short-term junk plans.