The laws approves the growth of short-term medical insurance
Kansas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 29 on Friday, which could potentially expand the use of short-term health insurance plans.
“Short-term fixed-term” insurance policies are intended as stop-gap measures designed to provide low-cost insurance for people between jobs or just before retirement. Because of this nature, short-term plans also offer less coverage than regular health insurance.
Currently, in Kansas, such plans can only last for six or twelve months, with an extension allowed.
In 2017, former President Donald Trump issued rules that allow stop-gap insurance to be extended to three years, and the Senate bill would use that extended timeframe for short-term plans.
Eudora Republican Senator Beverly Gossage, also a health insurance company, introduced the bill and argued for it on an affordability basis.
“As licensed health insurers, we’ve more than quadrupled private plans for our customers since the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed,” she said. “Many buyers either receive a modest subsidy or are forced to pay full price … ACA policies not only come with high premiums, they also charge them up to $ 8,550 out of pocket. Kansans need other options . “
However, critics have referred to short-term policies as “junk insurance” because they don’t cover much. They also say the plans don’t cover any pre-existing conditions.
“While the premiums for short-term plans are generally lower compared to ACA plans, our analysis shows that short-term plans actually expose participants with serious illnesses to much higher out-of-pocket costs,” said Christina Cowart of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network .
The opponents also said that it was not good to encourage more dependence on them.
“Selling these guidelines for an extended period of time can create confusion for consumers who may be misled into believing these products are comprehensive and prevent them from actually signing up for more comprehensive plans,” said Kari Rinker on behalf of the American Heart Association.
Proponents pointed out that neighboring states already have similar legal requirements and that the more options there are, the better for consumers.
While the bill was being circulated, it did not receive a veto-proof majority at Kansas House and would require 15 more “yes” votes to overwrite it. The governor is likely to veto the legislation in the face of fairly unified opposition from democratic lawmakers.
Governor Laura Kelly has 10 days to veto the legislation.
“We could better protect Kansans with short-term health plans by simply adopting the flexibility the federal government allows,” Gossage wrote in an editorial that supported their bill.