Short-term health insurance plans offer a trade-off for consumers: substantially lower premiums than plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act, but much less protection if they get sick and need care.
Just how much cheaper are the premiums and what are consumers giving up to get them? A new KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) analysis finds short-term plans are able to charge premiums 54 percent lower than ACA-compliant plans, by excluding pre-existing conditions and severely limiting benefits. Specifically, it finds:
The Trump administration has expanded the availability of such plans, which can offer coverage for up to 364 days and do not have to comply with the ACA’s rules. The lower premiums will likely lure healthy people away from ACA-compliant plans, especially consumers with incomes too high to qualify for ACA premium subsidies. As a result, ACA-compliant plans will be left with a sicker pool of enrollees and higher premiums.