Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today voted to roll back the Trump Administration’s expansion of so-called ‘junk’ insurance plans. These plans can deny health coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and rip Ohioans off by charging them for insurance but failing to cover essential services like prescription drugs and emergency room visits when they are needed. Brown joined 49 of his Senate colleagues in signing the discharge petition that forced today’s vote.
More than 5 million Ohioans under age 65 have a pre-existing condition – nearly half the state’s population.
“Junk plans are exactly that – junk. These health care plans allow insurance companies to rip people off by hiking up costs for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions or charging them for insurance and then failing to provide coverage when people need it most,” said Brown.
In October 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to expand short-term, limited duration (“junk”) insurance plans. A study by the Urban Institute showed that these plans – which are not required to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines and therefore do not meet minimum essential coverage standards – would increase the number of people without minimum essential coverage by 2.5 million in 2019, including many Ohioans. This, combined with the elimination of the individual mandate, would increase 2019 ACA-compliant insurance premiums by an average of 18.2 in the 43 states that do not prohibit these “junk” plans. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, the individual mandate repeal, combined with the proposed short-term plan rules, would increase Ohio rates by an estimated 16.8 percent.