Biden administration finalizes rule restricting use of short-term health insurance

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it has approved a new regulation restricting the use of short-term health insurance that does not comply with the Affordable Care Act, reversing a move by the Trump administration to give consumers more access to cheaper, but tighter offers to enable plans.

Under the new ruleThe short-term plans can only last for 90 days, with the option of a one-month extension.

In 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule that allowed the plans to last just under one year, with the option to extend for a total term of up to three years. Previously, under Obama-era policies, plans had to last less than three months.

The plans, often with lower premiums than those offered in Affordable Care Act marketplaces, are not required to cover people with pre-existing conditions. They are also exempt from the health law’s requirement that plans provide a minimum level of benefits, such as: B. Prescription drug coverage and maternity care.

Democrats deride the so-called short-term, time-limited plans as “junk” insurance, and Obama-era policies were intended to ensure that healthy consumers couldn’t use that option to bypass the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and create a sicker pool legacy of customers who enroll in comprehensive plans offered under the health care law.

The White House framed the new rule as a way to strengthen marketplaces. Neera Tanden, President Biden’s domestic policy adviser, said in a briefing with reporters on Wednesday 45 million Americans were now covered through the marketplaces or the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. More than 20 million people signed up for plans on the marketplaces during the most recent open enrollment period.

“President Biden is not taking his foot off the gas,” Ms. Tanden said.

Proponents of the short-term plans said the cheaper options are good for people who can’t afford a Marketplace plan. Brian Blase, the…

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