Arizona goes completely ass-backwards on #ShortAssPlans
Over the past year or so, ever since Donald Trump issued an executive order re-opening the floodgates on non-ACA compliant "short-term, limited duration" (STLD) healthcare policies (otherwise known as "junk plans" since they tend to have massive holes in coverage and leave enrollees exposed to financial ruin in many cases), numerous states have passed laws locking in restrictions on them or, in a few cases, eliminating them altogether:
- Washington State insurance commissioner is using regulatory authority to crack down on #ShortAssPlans.
- Maryland has locked them in at no more than 3 months/year and made them nonrenewable within the same year.
- Illinois has limited them to no more than 6 months per year.
- Starting in April, Colorado will restrict STLDs to 6 months, but will also require them to follow the same rules on coverage/comprehensiveness as ACA-compliant plans.
- New Mexico is on the verge of locking STLDs in at 3 months, along with granting the insurance dept. the authority to place other restrictions on them.
- Hawaii has restricted them to 3 months...but also prohibits selling STLDs to anyone who's eligible to enroll in an exchange plan, which means just about anyone.
- California has banned STLDs altogether.
...and so on.
Unfortunately, some other states are moving in the exact opposite direction. Case in point: Arizona:
‘Buyer beware’ say lawmakers, physicians about new insurance plan law
by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Democratic lawmakers and patient advocates gathered in front of the Capitol Tuesday morning to decry a bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed Monday that expands health insurance plans that patient advocates call “scam plans.”
Ducey signed Senate Bill 1109 into law. It increases the amount of time a person can be on a short-term insurance plan from six months to up to three years.
The bill is in part a reaction to a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health, Human Services and Labor and the U.S. Treasury which extended the recommended amount of time someone can be on one of these plans, often referred to in short as STLDI.
The rule came after an executive order was issued by President Donald Trump that loosened restrictions on STLDIs. Fourteen other states have already conformed to the new rule.
The plans are exempt from Affordable Care Act regulations that govern pre-existing conditions and caps on coverage, and were originally created to be used as an emergency measure when someone is switching jobs or insurances.
The article quotes several supporters and opponents of the bill, of course...and the first one opposed to it is an eye-opener:
...“It’s ‘buyer beware,’” Dr. Paul Kozak, an emergency room physician said to the Mirror about the short-term insurance plans. Kozak was a special guest at the legislature Tuesday as the “physician of the day,” which brings doctors to the Capitol to meet with lawmakers.
Kozak, a Trump supporter, said he was unaware of the bill until this morning. He said it will likely weaken the ACA insurance marketplace and could harm consumers who may be unaware of what the plans cover. The bill does require that insurers are required to disclose the limitations and restrictions of the plans.
Yes, that's right: A Trump supporter is openly trashing Trump's healthcare policy. Glory be.
Kozak said a better solution would be making plans on the marketplace more flexible and affordable so healthy individuals buy into the marketplace and help bring costs down for those with extensive health conditions who can often cause premiums to go up if they’re the only ones in the marketplace, Kozak said.
In other words...#KillTheCliff.