State lawmakers with an interest in insurance may write their own short-term health insurance model law.
The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has put the short-term health insurance issue on its agenda for its spring meeting, in Nashville, Tennessee.
NCOIL started the four-day meeting today. The group’s Health Insurance and Long Term Care Issues Committee has put a short-term health insurance item on the schedule for a session set to take place Friday afternoon.
Short-term health insurance was once an obscure product that recent college graduates and conscientious people between jobs used to stay covered.
Drafters of the Affordable Care Act legislation, and the federal regulators who implemented the ACA, put the product in the spotlight, by exempting short-term health insurance from ACA mandates.
Issuers began positioning short-term health insurance as a potentially low-cost alternative to individual major medical insurance.
Officials in the administration of former President Barack Obama responded to arguments that insurers were saddling consumers with poorly explained “junk coverage” by capping the duration of a short-term health insurance coverage period at three months.
The administration of President Donald Trump fired back by repealing the Obama-era duration limit and giving states and insurers the option of letting the same short-term health insurance policy be renewed for up to three years.
Democratic officials and policymakers, such as Jessica Altman, the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, and analysts affiliated with the Urban Institute have been highlighting stories of short-term health insurance users facing big, unexpected bills.
Short-term health insurance distributors, such as eHealth Inc., have posted customer survey data suggesting that typical short-term health insurance coverage users may be pleased with their coverage.
At an NCOIL meeting in December, Randy Pate, the director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), arm of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in charge of Affordable Care Act programs, said the Trump administration believes making short-term health insurance more flexible will increase choices for Americans faced with escalating premiums and dwindling coverage options, according to a summary included in the packet for this week’s meeting.