Members of the House Education and Labor Committee voted 26-19 Tuesday to support H.R. 1010, a bill that would block the Trump administration’s short-term health insurance duration regulations.
If the bill took effect as written, it would limit the benefit period for short-term health insurance policies to three months. Today, a state can let the same short-term health insurance policy stay in place, with renewals, for up to three years.
All Democrats who participated in the House Education and Labor H.R. 1010 markup meeting voted to back the bill, and all Republicans who participated voted against it.
House Education and Labor shares jurisdiction over the bill with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.
House Energy and Commerce members voted April 3 to support the bill by a 30-22 party-line vote.
At press time, House Ways and Means had not scheduled an H.R. 1010 markup.
Short-Term Health Insurance History
Traditionally, consumers used short-term health insurance to protect themselves while they were between jobs, or when they had just gotten jobs and were not yet eligible for employers’ group health plans.
The drafters of the two statutes included in the Affordable Care Act package exempted short-term health insurance from the ACA underwriting, benefits and pricing rules that apply to individual major medical insurance.
Before April 1, 2017, each state could decide for itself how long a short-term health insurance policy could last, or whether an insurer could sell short-term health insurance to its residents.
The administration of former President Barack Obama adopted a regulation that put a three-month benefits period duration cap on short-term health insurance, in an effort to keep short-term health insurance from luring younger, healthier consumers away from the individual major medical insurance market, or from exposing consumers to the risk of buying coverage
The Trump administration completed work on regulations reversing the Obama administration cap on “short-term, limited duration” benefits duration periods in August 2018.
House Education and Labor Committee members used the markup mainly to rehash old arguments for and against the ACA major medical insurance market framework.
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the chairman of the committee, said H.R. 1010 is a consumer protection measure.