Senate Democrats issue warning about ‘junk’ healthcare plans

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, is warning consumers to watch out for so-called “junk” health plans.

These plans, according to Casey, are an attempt by the Trump administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and could leave individuals and families unprotected against extreme out-of-pocket health care costs. He says the plans are permitted to exclude coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and are not comprehensive.

“They want to do anything they can to undermine the existing healthcare law,” Casey said.

Casey says in 2018, the Trump administration removed regulations preventing junk plans from being sold.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, says the number of Americans with adequate insurance is going down because of these plans.

“You do a Google search this morning for open enrollment and the first ad that comes up is for a company selling a health insurance plan for $30 a month,” he said. “$30 a month doesn’t get you any health insurance.”

“Might give you coverage for a period of time but doesn’t have the protections like the protection for a pre-existing condition,” Casey added.

Republicans argue the short-term or narrow-coverage plans are a valuable option for consumers because many of the plans on Healthcare.gov cost too much.

“Clearly there’s a concern about affordability that’s what the Trump administration has been trying to address,” Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said.

Cassidy says the administration is helping those who need these low-cost options.

“They’ve given states flexibility to craft affordable options for families that do not have subsidies,” he added.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act lasts until Dec. 15.

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