Statement of ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray on Advent of Open Enrollment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2017                                      
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 
Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515


STATEMENT OF ACAP CEO MARGARET A. MURRAY ON ADVENT OF OPEN ENROLLMENT

WASHINGTON—Today, ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray issued the following statement on the beginning of open enrollment season for health insurance plans offered through Marketplaces:

“Today, sixteen ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plans are opening their doors to new members through the open enrollment process, and look forward to continuing to offer high-quality, affordable, comprehensive coverage.

“However, consumers seeking coverage now have landmines to avoid that they didn’t in previous years: the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule allowing for ‘short-term, limited duration’ insurance plans to be sold for periods of up to a year. These plans, designed to be stopgaps, are already being marketed as lower-cost alternatives to Marketplace plans and in many cases are being pushed by agents and brokers.

“These plans are allowed to discriminate based on health status, refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, may impose annual or lifetime limits, and can engage in the practice of underwriting and even rescission. These are the very issues the Affordable Care Act was meant to solve. Through this rule, they are being reintroduced into the market.

“A proliferation of these plans—especially if seen as an “alternative” to comprehensive health insurance—will ultimately keep some of the healthiest consumers out of the Marketplace risk pool; should that happen, costs will go up for consumers in the form of higher premiums, and costs for taxpayers will go up in the form of higher subsidies.

“These plans have shown time and time again that they are not functional as full-time health coverage products. It would be a shame for consumers to find out the hard way exactly how deficient they are when it comes time for them to file a claim.”

About ACAP
ACAP represents 63 not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans in 29 states, which collectively serve more than 21 million people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.

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