Trump’s ObamaCare alternative: Short-term plans

The Trump administration on Tuesday formally proposed a measure that it hopes will help bring down the cost of health insurance.

The Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury departments announced a plan to extend short-term, limited-duration health coverage to 12 months. Such coverage wouldn’t meet all of the requirements under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

“In a market that is experiencing double-digit rate increases, allowing short-term, limited-duration insurance to cover longer periods gives Americans options and could be the difference between someone getting coverage or going without coverage at all,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.

The government expects 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could take advantage of the expanded short-term insurance offerings in 2019.

Short-term plans provide less extensive, but also less expensive, coverage than the traditional ACA-compliant alternative. For an individual, it can cost about $100 per month, or $250 for the average family.

The plans don’t cover such areas as preventative care or pre-existing conditions.

Under ObamaCare, short-term plans provide coverage for about 90 days and are primarily intended for people between jobs, but the Trump administration wants the plans to be available to people in counties with scarce exchange offerings and to those who missed the open enrollment period.

President Donald Trump directed his administration to look into expanding short-term limited duration insurance plans in an executive order he signed in October.