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Susan G. Komen Applauds Rule to Protect Patients from Short-Term, Limited-Duration Health Plans

Today, the Biden Administration released a final rule which aims to protect consumers from short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans, low-quality health coverage that is exempt from many consumer protections.

STLDI plans were originally created to fill temporary gaps in healthcare coverage, but a 2018 federal rule allowed consumers to receive coverage under such a plan for as long as three years. Today’s final rule will ensure that these plans are used as originally intended: as short-term coverage while someone is transitioning from one comprehensive plan with the appropriate consumer protections to another.

While STLDI plans are marketed to consumers as an alternative to traditional health insurance, they are not subject to the many consumer protections that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires for other types of plans. They can deny coverage to or charge more for an individual with a pre-existing condition – including breast cancer. They are not required to cover items and services considered to be essential under traditional plans, such as cancer screenings, prescription drugs or laboratory services, and can utilize annual and lifetime coverage limits – these protections are critical for many Americans, but especially those living with breast cancer. Many individuals do not realize they are purchasing a STLDI plan until they go to use their coverage. Unfortunately, it is often then too late, and they are faced with significant coverage limitations and burdensome medical bills.

Komen’s Center for Public Policy works to ensure that breast cancer patients and survivors have access to quality, affordable, comprehensive insurance that covers the providers, services and treatments they need in order to have the best outcomes. While STLDI plans can serve an important purpose in bridging the gap between coverage, they are not meant to serve as long-term health care coverage.

Komen applauds the action taken today by the Biden Administration to protect individuals living with breast cancer, and all Americans, from these harmful plans.