The following Letter to the Editor and response appeared in the April 23 and 27, 2018 edition of the Indianapolis Star.
Don’t permit short-term health care plans
I’m a lung cancer survivor, which means I need good health care that I can afford and that covers my treatments and doctors’ visits. I’m very concerned about a proposal from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would allow short-term health care plans to be sold that wouldn’t cover people like me who have pre-existing conditions. Allowing these plans to be sold would weaken the health insurance marketplaces nationwide, including in Indiana, making it even more expensive to buy a quality health care plan. It’s important that Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young and Rep. Andre Carson oppose this proposal and fight to protect our health care.
Indy Star Letters to the Editor, April 27, 2018
Short-term health insurance policies serve an important role. They are intended to be an affordable bridge to open enrollment for longer term policies for many people: Newly retired before Medicare enrollment, people between jobs, people that can’t afford COBRA, etc.
Full implementation of the ACA also emphasized the marketplace’s need for year-long, short-term coverage options. The ACA utilizes a very short open enrollment period (OEP) for the individual health insurance marketplace (as opposed to a late-enrollment penalty system, as is used for Medicare), every year there are people who do not enroll during the OEP and are shut out of the individual marketplace for a good portion of the year.
Short-term policies are not intended to cover all existing conditions. Doing so, would drastically limit their affordability and their purpose. Short-term policies are intended to be an affordable bridge to open enrollment so people can enroll in longer- term policies in the marketplace, with their employer or with Medicare for policies that meet ACA requirements.
The Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters supports the proposed rule which would restore the definition of short-term, limited-duration to its pre-2016 status and allow policies to be sold for up to 12 months in duration as long as long as its sale was accompanied by revised consumer disclosures.
ISAHU Past President