Short-Term Plans Can Skirt Health Law Requirements

Consumers who buy a health insurance policy good for only 364 days might save hundreds of dollars in premiums, but they could also find themselves without important benefits and charged a penalty for not having insurance next year.

What a difference a day makes. Consumers who buy a health insurance policy good for only 364 days might save hundreds of dollars in premiums, but they could also find themselves without important benefits and charged a penalty for not having insurance next year.

Under the health care law, in January most issuers have to start accepting all applicants regardless of their medical conditions and offer plans with comprehensive benefits that limit out-of-pocket costs. But short-term medical plans, defined as policies with terms lasting less than 12 months, can sidestep all the law’s new requirements. A number of insurance vendors are taking advantage of this loophole and offering plans with skimpier coverage that last up to 364 days.

“I am concerned that health insurers will try to … sell people coverage that yes, may come with a cheaper sticker price, but that may expose them to significant financial risks down the line,” says Sabrina Corlette, project director at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

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Source: Kaiser Health News