Short-term health plans expansion upheld in court

The Trump administration’s expansion of short-term limited-duration health plans has held up in court after a legal challenge.

The plans, which are not required to comply with Affordable Care Act standards, were expanded by the Trump administration in August 2018. Democrats in Congress, who have called these plans junk insurance because they do not offer comprehensive coverage, attempted to overturn the expansion in October 2018, but failed.

Now, the plans, which were extended from 3 months to 36 months of allowable coverage, can continue, according to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.

Short-term limited-duration plans were defined under the ACA by the Obama administration as temporary coverage for those who were between insurance coverage, such as students or those switching jobs. Since then, HHS has promoted these plans as an alternative to ACA plans in the marketplace as a more affordable option.

However, the plans do not meet ACA requirements, which means they do not have to cover pre-existing conditions or have limits on out-of-pocket expenses. According to Judge Leon, HHS does have the authority to change the limits of the duration of these plans, court records revealed.