Do States Know the Status of Their Short-Term Health Plan Markets?


The Trump administration this week issued a final rule reversing federal limits on short-term health coverage, allowing such plans to become a long-term alternative to individual-market coverage. Starting in October, insurers will be allowed to sell short-term plans for just under 12 months and can renew them for up to 36 months. The rule does not preempt states from imposing shorter limits on these plans, or banning them entirely, however.

For a new post on To the Point, experts at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms surveyed insurance departments in the 17 states that run their own marketplaces to understand how markets for short-term plans – which are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections – are working on the eve of this policy shift. The authors found most states have little information about the status of these markets.

As this new market of long-term short-term plans emerges, states will need a better understanding of how it’s working in order to protect consumers and maintain a stable individual market, the researchers say. “This can begin with an assessment of which insurers are actively marketing in the state.”

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