For Immediate Release: February 20, 2018
Anthony Wright, Executive Director, 916-870-4782
Mike Roth, 916-444-7170
As Trump Administration Seeks Sabotage of ACA Standards By Promoting “Junk” Insurance,
California Legislation Would Ban Such Substandard “Short-Term” Coverage.
SB 910 (Hernandez) would protect Californians from being caught in junk coverage without essential health benefits and annual & lifetime limits,
as well as prevent increased premiums and destabilization of individual insurance market for patients with ACA health plans.
Sacramento, CA – Today, the Trump Administration’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a proposed rule to extend the use of so-called “short term” health insurance plans from three months to a year, and otherwise promote the use of these substandard “junk” policies that would not follow Affordable Care Act consumer protections. Such “short-term” plans could deny coverage due to people with pre-existing conditions, do not have to cover essential health benefits, and can impose annual and lifetime limits on how much care they will cover.
California health and consumer organizations urged the state Legislature to protect patients by passing SB 910, by Senator Ed Hernandez, to ban such “short-term” insurance, which would harm both those who sign up for such coverage but find out later it doesn’t cover needed treatments, and would drive up premiums for everybody else in a destabilized insurance market.
“The California Legislature should shield consumers from the Trump Administration’s attacks on key patient protections, including our rules against coverage that denies people with pre-existing conditions, doesn’t cover essential health benefits, and that has annual and lifetime limits.” said Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, and the sponsor of SB 910. “This so-called short-term coverage is actually a long con, collecting premiums from patients but not actually covering medically necessary care. This substandard coverage imperils the finances of those who buy it, but also spikes premiums and destabilizes the insurance market for everybody else. California should not allow the Trump Administration to sabotage our health system and should simply ban this junk coverage from being sold in the first place, protecting patients across the board.”
“I introduced SB 910 to protect Californians from being misled into buying one of these junk policies that do more harm than good. We must keep our focus on comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage options for Californians,” said Senator Ed Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee.