27 Patient Groups Express Disappointment in Final Rule on Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Plans

Responding to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services final rule on short-term, limited-duration insurance plans, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation joined 26 other nonpartisan patient and consumer groups to voice concern that these plans will split the market and jeopardize access to affordable, adequate health care for people living with pre-existing conditions.

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Twenty-seven patient and consumer groups representing millions of people with pre-existing health conditions issued the following statement regarding the final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that expands the use of “short-term, limited-duration insurance plans”:

Our organizations, representing more than 100 million American consumers, providers, and patients, are deeply troubled by the administration's decision to finalize a short-term, limited-duration insurance (short-term) rule. Despite serious concerns expressed by individuals and organizations across the entire spectrum of our health care system, the administration has finalized a rule that will reintroduce health insurance discrimination based on gender, health status, age, and pre-existing conditions. 

A striking 98 percent of stakeholder groups who commented, including many of our organizations, either expressed extreme concerns with the rule or outright opposed it as drafted, emphasizing its negative impact on patients and consumers. The administration has disregarded those warnings and issued a final rule with few changes, aside from limiting renewals of short-term coverage to up to three years -- which does nothing to resolve the fundamental problems with this policy. This rule will siphon younger and healthier individuals out of the individual market risk pool, forcing patients with pre-existing health conditions to pay far higher costs for the comprehensive coverage they obtain through the insurance marketplaces. It will also expose those younger, healthier individuals to the significant risk that their health plan will fail to cover critically necessary care if they fall ill or develop a serious medical condition.

Allowing short-term plans to proliferate offers no relief from the problems that plague our health care system, and instead will exacerbate the affordability concerns for unsubsidized individuals even as many states are implementing reinsurance programs to lower costs. We are dismayed that the administration has chosen a course of action to further dismantle rather than stabilize the health insurance marketplace, potentially costing the millions of Americans our organizations represent their coverage or even their health. We now call upon states to stand up for the patients left behind by this rule and take action to protect patients, stabilize the marketplaces, and bring down costs for consumers.

Patient and Consumer Groups

Adult Congenital Heart Association

Alpha-1 Foundation

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Liver Foundation

American Lung Association

Arthritis Foundation

COPD Foundation

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation

Family Voices

Hemophilia Federation of America

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Lutheran Services in America

March of Dimes

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Health Council

National Hemophilia Foundation

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Organization for Rare Disorders

National Patient Advocate Foundation

National Psoriasis Foundation

Susan G. Komen

United Way Worldwide

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Woman With Heart Disease

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Topics
Health Care Reform | Advocacy | Insurance
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