Short-term healthcare plans aren’t fundamentally effective for Connecticut families, and medical insurance now has become a burden to society.
I have grave concerns about the Trump administration’s new rules regarding healthcare insurance, which allow the sale of cheaper health care plans on the market. These plans are originally intended only for short-term use. A change, however, has been implemented that would allow these plans to continue to be available for nearly 12 months at a time. This type of plan is in conflict with our Connecticut state law, which currently states that these plans can be available for only six months or less and that they are not renewable. Under the new regulations, the plans by Trump could be renewed for up to three years.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, sent a letter to our Insurance Department Commissioner, Katharine Wade, that accused these short-term plans of being “inherently deceptive and failing to provide critically important coverage.” He goes on to argue that other states, including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, have already banned these junk plans and apply reasonable restrictions to them. According to Blumenthal, these short-term plans merely provide a false sense of safety while offering little real protection.
Donna Tommelleo, a spokeswoman from the Insurance Department, has stated that the department has received Blumenthal’s letter and will be responding to it.
The Affordable Care Act plan that was passed during the Obama administration is being dismantled by this new president. Under Trump, insurance plans will not be required to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental health conditions and pregnancies. Blumenthal continued to say that, additionally, short-term health plans still aren’t required to cover common medical expenses, like maternity care, substance user disorder treatment, preventive service, mental health treatment, and prescription drug coverage.
I share Sen. Blumenthal’s opinion that we the people of Connecticut shouldn’t aid the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage and undermine the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s actions are luring consumers away from health exchange policies with the false promise of low-cost coverage, which brings confusion, especially to poor and middle class citizens.
Lantaben Williams lives in Hartford and is a student at Goodwin College.