AS JUNK PLANS BECOME REALITY, SENATE DEMOCRATS SEEK ANSWERS ON THE CONSEQUENCES FOR AMERICANS’ HEALTH CARE
Senators Wyden, Murray, Nelson and Baldwin ask for data on junk plan applications from state insurance commissioners.
Washington, D.C. – Four Senate Democrats today asked the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to begin reporting the harmful consequences of junk insurance plans as insurers submit applications to sell the plans to consumers this fall.
The letter, sent by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Senators Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., asks NAIC President Julie Mix McPeak to begin collecting data on at least 14 measures that may be used to compare junk plans to the comprehensive plans now available due to the Affordable Care Act.
“Expanding the use of these ‘junk plans’ will harm both the people who purchase them, only to discover the care they need is not covered as they had been led to believe, and those in the individual market who will see higher premiums as a result,” the senators wrote. “We are very concerned about the impact of these junk plans on our constituents and the commercial insurance market as a whole. In short, many of these plans are not worth the paper they are printed on.”
The letter comes as the Trump Administration finalized a rule earlier this month allowing insurance companies to sell what were originally short-term, limited-duration insurance plans for nearly a year. These plans do not have protections for people with pre-existing conditions, essential health benefits like prescription drugs and maternity care, and other consumer protections that were passed as a part of the Affordable Care Act.