Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cancer survivors were at the mercy of the health care system, often forced to pay exorbitant premiums or simply denied coverage altogether. Today, America’s 16 million cancer survivors benefit from the ACA’s patient protections that are critical to providing them with quality, affordable, and accessible health care coverage. NCCS is actively engaged in advocating to ensure this unprecedented access for cancer patients and providers continues.
In February, the Trump administration released proposed rules that would loosen regulations on short-term limited-duration health insurance coverage. Short-term plans are very concerning as they are not subject to the ACA’s critical patient protections that have helped so many Americans, including millions of cancer patients.

These plans can deny coverage due to a preexisting condition or charge people more based on their health status, impose annual or lifetime limits, and fail to cover essential health benefits. Because short-term plans provide skimpy coverage, these plans are much cheaper and will appeal to healthy people, who will likely leave ACA-compliant plans. This would seriously undermine the ACA risk pool and drive up Marketplace premiums for people, like cancer survivors, who need the protections that Marketplace plans provide.

This week, NCCS hosted a webinar about the proposed rule on short-term limited-duration health plans.

In the webinar, JoAnn Volk, MA, from the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms, provided a detailed description of what short-term plans are and how they would harm patients. NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso and Public Policy Manager Lindsay Houff then outlined what patients and advocates can do to stop this rule from becoming policy.

NCCS urges advocates to submit comments on the Regulations.gov website to ensure cancer patients’ voices are heard. Short-term plans would be dangerous for people who purchase them, and threaten the entire market for those who don’t.

The deadline to submit comments is April 23.

See our blog post to find instructions on how to submit comments, a template comment letter, and the webinar video

How to Voice Opposition to the Proposed Rule for Short-Term Limited Duration Coverage