Pallone, Eshoo, Castor Urge Immediate Action from Biden Administration on “Junk” Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance Plans
Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Kathy Castor (D-FL) wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Department of the Treasury urging immediate action to roll back the Trump administration’s troubling expansion of Short-Term, Limited Duration Health Insurance (STLDI) plans, also known as “junk plans.”
In the letter, the Democratic Committee leaders noted that in order to protect millions of Americans from insufficient, costly health plans that include major coverage limitations, it is essential for the Biden administration to act by March 31, 2023, when the Families First Coronavirus Response Act continuous coverage protection ends and states begin eligibility redeterminations for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries.
“Unfortunately, due to either deceptive marketing or consumer confusion, many individuals are not aware they are purchasing plans that don’t provide comprehensive coverage, which can have disastrous consequences for their health and pocketbook. Brokers who sell these plans can engage in questionable tactics, such as pushing consumers to purchase plans over the phone without reviewing any written information or coverage documents, misleading consumers about the type of coverage they are purchasing, and failing to disclose STLDI plans’ significant coverage limitations and exclusions. Additionally, coverage limitations are not always made clear in marketing materials, making it extremely difficult for consumers to understand what they are purchasing. Consumers who fall sick while enrolled in one of these plans may incur huge, potentially ruinous medical costs,” wrote the members.
In 2020, Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats released a report on the Committee’s year-long investigation into the anti-consumer practices of STLDI health care plans and the insurance brokers who sell and sign people up for these junk plans.
The full letter can be read here.