Tester Defends Montanans from Junk Health Insurance Plans

Senator: We Can't Let Corporations Swindle Folks Who Need Health Insurance

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is defending Montanans from harmful health insurance policies that cost money, but don’t cover pre-existing conditions and basic health care procedures.

Better known as “junk plans,” these short-term health insurance plans were originally designed to help fill temporary gaps in coverage, but a recent rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has allowed corporations to start selling Montanans junk plans that last up to three years.

“They are a total and complete sham,” Tester said of the junk plans. “If you read the fine print, you will discover that dialysis, blood pressure pills, and x-rays aren’t covered. In fact, most things aren’t.”

Tester voted to pass legislation to overturn CMS’s new rule and restore the 90-day junk plan limit.

“We must hold big insurance accountable,” Tester said. “We cannot let corporations swindle folks who need health insurance plans that will be there for them. It stops insurance companies from selling garbage plans that don’t cover your pre-existing condition.”

Junk plans are also not required to cover prescription drugs or maternity care.

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

Tester is also sponsoring legislation to defend Montanans with pre-existing conditions like high-blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and asthma from being denied coverage from health insurance companies.

Tester’s legislation was one vote shy of passing the Senate, ending up with a final vote of 50-50.