On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued a final rule changing short term health insurance rules to help Americans struggling to afford health coverage find new, more affordable options. (See this page for the announcement)
The key changes are:
- Short term plans can cover now longer periods (up to 3 years) than the previous Obama maximum period (3 months). The plans may now last up to a year, and be renewed to last as long as three years.
- Insurers would be required to tell consumers exactly what is and what is not covered under the new policies.
- The new rule takes effect in two months. (October 1, 2018)
- The short-term policies will be subject to state laws, which means each state can restrict their sale or require specific benefits be included. Expect left-leaning states to jump in and create legal barriers that render these plans meaningless in their states.
This may result in the sale of many more short term health insurance policies outside of the ACA. These plans do not have to cover
- prescription drugs,
- maternity care or
- people with pre-existing medical conditions.
President Trump said that he believes that the new “” could help millions of people who do not want or need comprehensive health insurance providing the full range of benefits required by the health law.
The average monthly premium for an individual in the fourth quarter of 2016 for a short-term, limited-duration policy was approximately $124, compared with $393 for an unsubsidized individual market plan.
- See this page for more information about short term medical insurance plans.
- See this page for where and how to get a short term health insurance policy
- The final rule can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-16568.pdf – PDF
- A fact sheet on today’s proposed rule can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2018-Fact-sheets-items/2018-08-01.html