E-Newsletter: Cracking Down on Junk Health Insurance Plans
When my colleagues and I passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, we included provisions that would provide for comprehensive consumer protections in the health care marketplace. These provisions prevent insurers from discriminating based on age, gender, health-status, and pre-existing conditions, and also mandate that insurers provide essential health benefits. These benefits include coverage for prescriptions, maternity care, hospitalization, and many other essential health services.
As a part of the Trump Administration’s rollback of the ACA and its protections for consumers, the president expanded short-term health insurance plans that offer limited benefits for consumers. Many of these short-term insurance plans are charging more based on age and gender, denying coverage for patients, prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services, and rescinding coverage based on pre-existing conditions. In reality, these are short-term junk insurance plans that use fine print and deceptive practices to deny paying consumers the health care they need.
That is why in my capacity as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, my colleagues and I began an investigation into the deceitful practices of junk insurance plans. I am concerned that these insurers are misleading consumers to believe that these plans comply with the patient protections under the Affordable Care Act. Our investigation will hold these insurers accountable so they cannot leave consumers on the hook. My Committee has already sent letters to twelve companies that sell these short-term junk plans. We are demanding that these companies provide information on the specifics of these plans, their profit margins, enrollment data, rescindment rates, denial rates, and consumer protection violations.
Now that Democrats have the House majority, we have the power to investigate and protect consumers from unscrupulous practices by the Trump Administration. I want you to know that I will continue to fight for coverage for pre-existing conditions and patient protections in the health care marketplace. My Committee will practice vigorous oversight on insurance companies that aim to mislead consumers and saddle working Americans with unexpected costs.
Lastly, one of my privileges as a Member of Congress is to assist my constituents on a range of issues, whether it be help with a federal agency, ordering a flag, or requesting tours and tickets for a visit to Washington DC. Please take a moment to visit my website to find out how I can serve you.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.