The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has joined 26 patient groups to express disappointment over the administration's decision to extend the maximum availability of short-term insurance plans from 90 days to up to three years. These plans will begin to be sold as soon as Sept. 30.
Short-term insurance plans were originally meant to fill a need for individuals in need of temporary insurance, such as during a transition between jobs, as opposed to providing long-term, comprehensive coverage. These plans jeopardize access to adequate, affordable health coverage on the individual marketplace by:
- Dividing the individual insurance market into plans for healthy people and plans for sick people, driving up costs for those who need comprehensive insurance through the insurance marketplaces
- Exempting these plans from complying with critical consumer protections, which means insurers can impose lifetime and annual caps on coverage; exclude essential health benefits; and charge people with pre-existing conditions, like CF, higher premiums or deny them coverage completely
In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) solicited public comments on the rule. One out of every three comments submitted was from the CF community, showcasing the concern from our community members.
Now that the proposed rule is final, states may take action to mitigate the impact of the short-term rule on their insurance market. As states consider proposals to alleviate the potential harm caused by this rule, we will work with lawmakers to ensure that new policies meet the needs of people with CF.
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