AHA today urged the departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services not to finalize a proposed rule that would allow short-term, limited-duration health plans to provide coverage for up to 364 days, eliminating the current three-month limit. “This proposed rule, if finalized, would weaken the individual market, reduce choice for millions of consumers and increase overall costs for patients and the federal government,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels, noting that short-term, limited-duration plans are not required to comply with federal consumer protection or comprehensive coverage requirements for the individual market. “Hospitals and health systems are committed to ensuring access to coverage and care, but the tradeoffs associated with this proposal are too great. Instead of finalizing this proposal, we urge the departments to work with stakeholders on other ways to achieve these shared goals while ensuring that critical consumer protections remain in place. Examples of these solutions include…supporting state and federal reinsurance proposals, fully funding the cost-sharing reductions, and increasing outreach and enrollment assistance to support greater access to coverage and a more stable risk pool.” For more on these and other marketplace stability options, see the AHA factsheet. Meanwhile, today the Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis of short-term, limited-duration health plans for sale through two major national online brokers, and it found big gaps in the benefits they offer. The analysis, which examines 24 distinct short-term insurance products currently marketed in 45 states and the District of Columbia through eHealth or Agile Health Insurance, found none of the plans covered maternity care; 43% do not cover mental health services; 62% do not cover substance abuse treatment; and 71% do not cover outpatient prescription drugs.

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