This Admnistration and the Republicans have done nothing but try and sabotage Obamacare. Every step that they’ve taken has been done to harm and try to destroy it. That they are putting people back in this untenable position where they foolishly believe that they’ve bought cheap insurance, when in actuality, they’ve bought JUNK INSURANCE.
Health Insurance That Doesn’t Cover the Bills Has Flooded the Market Under Trump
The administration’s moves to weaken the Affordable Care Act have taken hold, and companies are cashing in
By Zeke Faux, Polly Mosendz, and John Tozzi
Early one Friday morning two years ago, David Diaz woke up his wife, Marisia, and told her he didn’t feel right. He asked her to pray with him. Their son called 911, and within minutes, Marisia was tailing an ambulance down the dirt road away from the couple’s house on the outskirts of Phoenix to a hospital in the city. David had had a massive heart attack.
Before being wheeled into surgery, he whispered the PIN for his bank card to Marisia, just in case. But the double-bypass operation was successful, and two weeks later he was discharged.
On her way out, Marisia gave the billing clerk David’s health insurance card. It looked like any other, listing a copay of $30 for doctor visits and $50 for “wellness.” She’d bought the plan a year earlier from a company called Health Insurance Innovations Inc., with the understanding that it would be comprehensive. She hadn’t noticed a phrase near the top of the card, though: “Short-Term Medical Insurance.”
The Diazes’ plan was nothing like the ones consumers have come to expect under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which bars insurers from capping coverage, canceling it retroactively, or turning away people with preexisting conditions. But the law includes an exemption for short-term plans that serve as a stopgap for people between jobs. The Trump administration, thwarted in its attempts to overturn the ACA, has widened that loophole by stretching the definition of “short-term” from three months to a year, with the option of renewing for as long as three years.
I found this article through this Twitter thread:
Josh Dorner (@JoshDorner) Tweeted:
1/ Bloomberg has a must-read story out today on short-term, limited duration junk insurance plans that the Trump administration is promoting as an alternative to comprehensive ACA plans. The story highlights how bad these plans are for consumers. https://t.co/QAH7zHvXGg https://twitter.com/JoshDorner/status/1173980883679895552?s=17
2/ First, they are called junk plans for a reason. While ACA plans are required to cover Essential Health Benefits, junk plans Deny access to basic benefits, such as prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
3/ And when it comes to pre-existing conditions, they are doubly bad for consumers. Junk plans can set higher premiums based on age, gender, and health status, charging older people, women, or anyone with a history of physical or mental health problems more.
4/ Junk plans can also deny coverage outright for your preexisting condition, both when you purchase the plan and even later when you make a claim and then they retroactively rescind your coverage. This happens to be people in real life.
5/ For example, a woman in Illinois went to the hospital with heavy vaginal bleeding resulting in a five-day hospital stay and a hysterectomy, only to be denied coverage under her junk plan on the ground that her menstrual cycle constituted a pre-existing condition.
6/ A man in D.C., purchased a junk plan with a stated maximum payout of $750,000; when he sought coverage for a $211,000 bill resulting from a hospitalization, however, he was paid only $11,780, in part due to a denial of coverage based on his father’s medical history.
7/ Junk plans also don’t even serve as adequate catastrophic coverage. Insurers are allowed to set extremely high deductibles and to cap what they pay for health care, exposing enrollees to high out-of-pocket costs. Plus this comes with the aforementioned denials and exclusions.
8/ Under the ACA, regular insurers are required to spend 80-85% of premiums on actual medical care. If they don’t, they have to give the money back in the form of rebates. Because of this rule, consumers are getting $743 MILLION back just this year.
9/ But junk plans are exempt from this rule, called the medical-loss ratio. A recent study found that some junk plans spend as little as 9 cents on the dollar on medical care. Again, that’s compared to 80-85 cents on the dollar for ACA plans.
10/ Aggressive marketing of junk plans is also confusing for consumers, who think they are getting real insurance but instead end up with a junk plan.
11/ A study found that, “Consumers shopping online for health insurance, including those using search terms such as ‘Obamacare plans’ or ‘ACA enroll,’ will most often be directed to websites and brokers selling STLDI or other non-ACA compliant products.”
12/ Another problem with junk plans, and one of the reason the Trump admin dramatically expanded their sale, is that they undermine the ACA marketplaces by drawing out healthier people. That leaves sicker people in the ACA risk people, driving up premiums.
13/ @CenterOnBudget wrote about the risks of rising premiums for sicker people and the many other problems associated with junk plans.
14/ Even Trump’s Council of Economic advisers admitted this in a report: “healthier-than-average members” are likely to leave the exchanges as a result of the STLDI rule. “their departure is expected to somewhat raise gross premiums for those who remain on the exchanges.”
15/ The Trump rule dramatically expanding the sale of junk plans turns the idea of “short-term, limited duration” on its head. It changed the definition of short-term from 90 days to 364 days and limited-duration went from 12 months to 36 months.
16/ Before, these plans really filled short-term gaps, but now they are being marketed and promoted as substitutes for comprehensive insurance. Expanding junk plans is also a way to get around Congress’ very clear intent in creating Essential Health Benefits required by the ACA.
At every turn, this Administration has done nothing but try to undermine Obamacare. And, the consumers are paying the price. These kinds of horror stories were all too common before Obamacare was passed. These kinds of stories were WHY Obamacare and its rules were created.
Make no mistake – the GOP WANTS TO TAKE YOUR HEALTHCARE AWAY.
They do not see healthcare as a right. If you can’t afford the best healthcare, then you deserve whatever you get.
The refusal to do Medicaid Expansion.
What more do they have to do in order to convince you that they mean you and yours nothing but harm, and should NEVER be given the benefit of the doubt. They are lying. They do not. Have not. Will not. EVER bring forth a Healthcare proposal that would benefit the PUBLIC.
You better vote like your life depends upon it in 2020…because, it does…..LITERALLY.
And, just a reminder: the rest of the ” First World” doesn’t live like this:
Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) Tweeted:
So, my wife is in Amsterdam and pinched a nerve. She spent the entire day in the hospital, was examined by a doc, and filled two prescriptions. She does not have travel health insurance.
The whole thing cost 50 euro.
Tell me again why the US health system doesn’t suck. https://twitter.com/imillhiser/status/1174672528125714432?s=17