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Aug 1, 2018

Tester Slams Expansion of Junk Health Insurance Plans

Senator: This is a Trick

(U.S. Senate)—U.S. Senator Jon Tester today criticized the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for expanding junk health insurance plans.

This morning, CMS rolled out its final rule allowing certain insurance companies to sell policies that do not cover preexisting conditions, like heart disease and diabetes.

“This is a trick,” said Tester. “When Montanans get sick they need health plans that offer basic coverage. Expanding these plans threatens the health of families across our state. I urge Montanans to look carefully when purchasing insurance so they aren’t duped into buying policies that belong in the trash.”

These junk plans will also not be required to cover prescription drugs or maternity care.

Current rules allow individuals to purchase short-term junk health policies that provide coverage for up to 90 days, but this new rule allows individuals to stay on these short-term plans for up to three years.

"Junk plans" refer to short-term health insurance plans designed to fill temporary gaps in coverage when Montanans transition from one long-term plan to another. These plans were not intended to be long-term solutions.

In April, Tester urged CMS not to expand junk plans and instead work to lower the cost of the health care.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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