HHS Secretary: Short-term health insurance plans are an affordable option

The 21st century is a golden age of personalization. Whether it's customizing our smart phones with our favorite apps...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 2:20 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2018 2:20 PM

The 21st century is a golden age of personalization. Whether it's customizing our smart phones with our favorite apps or ordering exactly what we need when we need it from Amazon, we increasingly expect a unique customer experience, not a one-size-fits-all model.

So why shouldn't the same principle apply to buying health insurance?

Since Obamacare was enacted, affordable, individualized health care coverage choices have all but disappeared for many Americans. Individual market premiums increased 105% in states using healthcare.gov from the year before Obamacare kicked in through the final year of the Obama administration.

That's why President Trump has made it a priority to open up new options for health insurance for Americans, and issued an executive order to that effect in October. In particular, we need to be opening up more affordable alternatives to Affordable Care Act health insurance policies, which are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many.

In keeping with that direction, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury released a proposal this week to extend the availability of a more affordable, more individualized form of insurance, called short-term limited duration health insurance plans.

Obamacare imposed an unprecedented level of regulation and standardization on individual-market health insurance all across America. This has left many consumers in an intolerable predicament -- in some cases, having to spend up to a third or even half of their income on premiums and deductibles before insurance kicks in. The cost of individual market health insurance has risen to such an extent that, increasingly, it only makes sense for those who are sick or may become sick soon.

Health coverage in the form of short-term limited duration plans has long been widely available to individuals in circumstances where they are unable to access traditional coverage, such as those between jobs or students taking a semester off from school. This type of coverage is in many cases relatively affordable, particularly today in comparison with the plans in the individual market, now having to abide by Obamacare regulations.

In late 2016, the Obama Administration severely curtailed access to these options by prohibiting anyone from purchasing short-term plans that last longer than three months. Under the Trump administration's new proposal, customers will be able to buy plans up to 12 months in duration.

This proposal, combined with the repeal of the individual mandate tax, could benefit millions of middle-class families who can't afford the premiums of Obamacare plans.

Short-term plans aren't for everyone. They don't satisfy some of the Obamacare mandates for insurance, such as requirements to cover certain health benefits.

But for Americans who have been priced out of Obamacare plans, who can't find a plan that will cover their doctor, or who are looking for affordable coverage between jobs, these short-term plans could make a lot of sense.

This isn't just about making sure individualized plans are available for Americans who need them. More broadly, this administration believes that a competitive, affordable insurance market is going to come about by allowing insurers to respond to consumers -- not by imposing edicts from Washington.

Expanding options for more affordable, individualized insurance is one of President Trump's key health care priorities, and one of our key priorities at Health and Human Services. This week's proposal represents a significant step toward that goal, and a new affordable health care option for Americans who need it.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
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Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
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Morgan49334
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Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
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Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
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Carroll1962
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Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
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Fulton1722
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Brown741
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 102826

Reported Deaths: 3708
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18697529
Cuyahoga13734505
Hamilton9766257
Lucas5448326
Montgomery443896
Summit3614223
Butler297663
Marion293545
Mahoning2595255
Pickaway239142
Stark1884140
Warren182139
Lorain181377
Columbiana167160
Trumbull1549108
Fairfield141632
Delaware134419
Licking131951
Clark117815
Lake113141
Wood106858
Clermont95311
Medina94535
Miami85839
Tuscarawas79314
Portage77163
Allen76946
Greene71812
Mercer63113
Belmont62326
Richland61412
Erie59728
Ashtabula57646
Geauga55944
Wayne54558
Ross4944
Darke40629
Huron4045
Madison40110
Ottawa39626
Sandusky39017
Hancock3893
Athens3602
Holmes3286
Lawrence3000
Auglaize2636
Union2601
Muskingum2431
Scioto2421
Jefferson2373
Seneca2283
Knox2127
Putnam21117
Shelby2104
Washington20922
Preble2072
Coshocton1967
Champaign1812
Morrow1762
Crawford1755
Hardin17012
Clinton1696
Highland1661
Logan1602
Ashland1543
Fulton1531
Wyandot1509
Defiance1504
Brown1462
Perry1403
Williams1363
Henry1222
Fayette1210
Guernsey1197
Hocking1189
Carroll1135
Monroe9418
Pike790
Jackson760
Van Wert732
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Adams612
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Morgan300
Harrison261
Noble160
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