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Credit: Gage Skidmore - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Donald_Trump#/media/File:Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_5.jpg This article examines the relationship between Trumpcare and short-term insurance policies. Short-term policies are the smallest demographic of insured Americans, and it can be very costly to have to register for one of these plans. Allowing market competition to set the prices is a fundamental aspect of Trumpcare, which will have a specific impact on short-term policies.

Individuals who fail to register for health insurance policies during the registration windows as directed by the Affordable Care Act may require short-term insurance plans to provide coverage during the temporary period between open registrations.

What are short-term policies?

Short-term major medical health insurance policies were designed to provide coverage for individuals who need temporary health insurance coverage for a short period of time, usually from 30 days to six months. The policies – offered by private health insurance companies – are intended to provide a safety net in the event of a health crisis that might otherwise cause a serious financial hardship.[1]

Short-term policies are not new, and can be the best option for temporarily unemployed or newly employed individuals.

To be clear, unlike major medical policies, these short-term plans are not ACA compliant.

What is ACA compliance?

ACA-compliant coverage refers to a major medical health insurance policy that conforms to the regulations set forth in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). These plans can be sold on or off the exchange, but all new individual major medical policies sold after January 1, 2014 are required to be ACA-compliant. This means they must include coverage for the ten essential benefits with no lifetime or annual benefit maximums, and must adhere to the consumer protections built into the law. [2]

They are a good option for people who need temporary coverage before beginning a more permanent policy. There has been considerable confusion about the fact that individual major medical plans are not be available outside of open enrollment, even off-exchange.

What's good about short-term policies

  • Individuals can register and secure immediate coverage for themselves and/or their family. Rather than being required to wait for registration period they can have a policy instated as soon as the following business day.
  • Because the policies are short-term, it is possible and more affordable to pay the full premiums at once.
  • Policies are typically less costly than other ACA-compliant major medical plans with a variety of options for premiusm, deductibles and maximums.
  • Policies typically allow individuals to choose their own doctors.Credit: Michael Vadon - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Donald_Trump_New_Hampshire_Town_Hall_on_August_19th,_2015_at_Pinkerton_Academy,_Derry,_NH_by_Michael_Vadon_02.jpg

What are the short-term policies shortcomings?

  • Plans are designed as temporary coverage for healthy people. They will not cover everything, and they are not required to comply with ACA's coverage and essential benefits.
  • They typically do not cover maternity, mental health, preventative care or routine primary care visits.
  • They don't cover pre-existing conditions.
  • They require medical underwriting making it unlikely that an individual will be able to get any short-term policy with serious pre-existing conditions.
  • Short-term coverage requirements and benefits can vary from state to state.

What is Trump's stance on short-term medical insurance policies?

Trump does not include any mention of short-term medical insurance in the Trumpcare healthcare platform. Short-term insurance plans were available long before the ACA, and as such it is unlikely that they would be targeted by Trump's initiative to repeal Obamacare. Any attempt to further regulate short-term plans would be contrary to Trumpcare's platform.

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