The Trump administration issued a final ruling on Wednesday allowing insurers to sell short-term, limited-duration health plans on the insurance markets as soon as this year.
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President Trump, who has promised to lower the cost of health care, said the new offerings will increase competition and offer more flexible options for Americans who don’t want to pay the high premiums associated with the plans provided on the federal exchanges.
The revamped short-term plans can now provide coverage for a maximum duration of 36 months.
These offerings are 50% to 80% cheaper than ObamaCare plans, while featuring broad provider networks and coverage, according to the government. These plans are also not subject to most ObamaCare requirements and do not need to cover things like pre-existing conditions or people who have them.
The administration said it expects 1.6 million people to take advantage of the new offering by 2022.
These policies were primarily intended for people between jobs under ObamaCare, but under Trump’s order can be used by people in counties with scarce exchange offerings and those who miss the open enrollment period. Some critics worry this could destabilize the insurance market by discouraging healthy individuals from signing up for plans on the exchanges.
Earlier this year, the White House expanded the ability of businesses to use association health plans, making it easier for small businesses to join together and buy health insurance while claiming the same federal exemption from insurance regulation enjoyed by large businesses.