WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s final rule that would restore access to more affordable, short-term health plans.
“The Trump administration continues to give families in Wyoming and across the country more health insurance choices. The short-term plan rule released today is another way Republicans are working to empower patients with more affordable options,” said Barrasso. “Congress should expand on this executive action by passing my legislation, the Improving Choices in Health Care Coverage Act. This will ensure that Americans have the freedom to choose the health coverage that works best for them and their families.”
In October 2016, the Obama administration specified that short-term, limited-duration health plans could not last longer than three months, including any renewals. This was an effort to force more people to buy Obamacare policies.
On Feb. 20, 2018, the Trump administration took an important first step to restore access to these more affordable health plans. On March 7, 2018, Senator Barrasso introduced legislation to expand this health insurance option. The Improving Choices in Health Care Coverage Act expands the duration and utility of these plans.
Specifically, it would:
1. Define short-term plans in law to allow a maximum coverage period of 364 days
2. Make the plans “guaranteed renewable” at the option of the applicant
With these two standards in place, short-term limited-duration plans would be a viable option for health insurance coverage for that is free from Obamacare’s regulations. Including a definition of the plans’ coverage period in the law guards against a future administration shortening their duration through regulation. Making the plans guaranteed renewable means if people want to stay in their plan, they can renew it without going through the whole application process again or being dropped from their plan.