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.