Tester-Backed Bill will Prevent Administration from Promoting Junk Health Insurance Plans
Senator: “When I lost my fingers, my parents had a junk insurance plan…We can’t let what happened to my family become the new normal for health insurance in this country.”
(Big Sandy, Mont.) – In response to yet another effort by the Trump Administration to strip health coverage away from Americans with preexisting conditions, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is cosponsoring legislation that would rescind their proposed guidance promoting “junk” health insurance plans.
The Tester-backed Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act would reverse a Trump Administration proposal that counts junk plans and other plans with substandard benefits as “comprehensive” coverage and allows states to increase out-of-pocket maximums as well as implement changes that would increase health care costs for enrollees.
“When I lost my fingers, my parents had a junk insurance plan, and since their plan did not cover my care, they were forced to pay thousands out-of-pocket,” Tester said. “I know firsthand how harmful these junk plans are, especially for folks with preexisting conditions. We can’t let what happened to my family-and what continues to happen to too many Montana families-become the new normal for health insurance in this country.”
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states could request “State Relief and Employment Waivers,” or 1332 waivers, to modify implementation of elements of the ACA based on the needs of the state, allowing some states to create reinsurance funds to help offset the expense of high-cost patients. The Administration’s recent modification to the guardrails loosens the requirements for states applying for 1332 waivers and qualifies junk plans as “comprehensive” coverage.
The guidance is an attempt to promote the Administration’s short-term, limited duration junk plans, which do not protect Americans with preexisting conditions. The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act would require the Administration to rescind the guidance.
Tester has been a champion for defending Montanans with preexisting conditions. Earlier this year, he slammed the Administration for backing a judge’s ruling that would effectively repeal the ACA, and took to the Senate floor to demand that President Trump withdraw the endorsement. He also recently joined his colleagues in demanding an in-depth report on the consequences of dismantling the ACA and introduced legislation that would allow the Senate to defend people with preexisting conditions in court.
Read more about Tester’s efforts to protect Montanans with pre-existing conditions HERE.
Full text of the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act is available HERE.