Skip to content

Baldwin Successfully Presses Biden to Finally Roll Back Junk Insurance Plans

Baldwin has led the charge to limit junk plans that can deny people with pre-existing conditions coverage since they were expanded in 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is applauding the Biden Administration for heeding her years-long call to limit the availability of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans, or junk plans, that can deny people with pre-existing conditions coverage. Junk plans can trick customers with low premiums, only to fail to provide adequate health care coverage when they need it most. Since President Trump first allowed for junk plans to be expanded in 2018, Senator Baldwin has pushed to limit the use of these junk plans and urged President Biden to roll them back since he took office.

“I have called out these junk plans for years because they have tricked Americans – ripping the rug out from under their feet when they need it most and sticking them with exorbitant bills. Junk plans deceive people into thinking they are getting high-quality insurance at a low cost, but in reality, junk plans don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions, prescription drugs, and a host of other basic needs – all while making patients pay huge costs out of pocket when they actually get the care they need,” said Senator Baldwin. “Today’s news will mean that fewer Americans are ripped off by junk plans and more Americans can have faith that their health insurance will have their back when they need it most.”

Today, the Biden administration announced their final rule on junk plans, which strictly limits how long these plans are available and mandates clear disclaimers that explain the limits of what services – and how much – they cover. The rule ensures that any plan that claims to be “short-term” health insurance is limited to just three months, with renewal for a maximum of 4 months total, if extended. This is opposed to up to 3 years that the previous administration allowed, causing junk health insurance plans to proliferate and confuse consumers that they were real, comprehensive coverage when they in fact provided little to no coverage.

The new rule rolls back a 2018 Trump Administration effort designed to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that made junk plans more widely available to consumers. Since then, these plans have continued to expand. However, they are not required to adhere to important standards, including prohibitions on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, coverage for the 10 essential health benefit categories, and annual out-of-pocket maximums.

Senator Baldwin has long pushed to curb the expansion of junk health insurance plans, including:

  • September 2023: Senator Baldwin led her colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to swiftly enact and continue to strengthen a proposed rule to limit the availability of junk plans.
  • July 2023: Upon the Biden administration releasing the draft rule to roll back junk plans, Senator Baldwin applauded the rule and highlighted the need for swift adoption.
  • February 2023: Senator Baldwin led colleagues in sending a letter to the Biden Administration urging them to act quickly to limit STLDI plans.
  • February 2022: Senator Baldwin led colleagues in calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to limit the sale of junk plans.
  • July 2021: Senators Baldwin and Murphy penned an op-ed in Health Affairs calling on President Biden to end the health care sabotage of the previous administration and get more Americans enrolled in high-quality, affordable, health insurance.
  • April 2021: Senator Baldwin introduced the Junk Plan Accountability and Disclosure Act to protect consumers from being misled into enrolling in junk plans that fail to offer comprehensive coverage.
  • March 2021: Senator Baldwin introduced the No Junk Plans Act to entirely overturn the Trump-era rule expanding junk health insurance plans.
  • October 2019: Senator Baldwin led a letter asking the Trump Administration to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions by limiting the proliferation of junk plans.
  • October 2018: Senator Baldwin successfully pushed for a vote on her resolution to overturn the Trump administration's rule on junk plans, which failed after 50 Senate Republicans voted to expand the use of the inadequate health care plans.
  • March 2018: Immediately following the Trump administration’s rule expanding junk health care plans, Senator Baldwin introduced the Fair Care Act to block the rule and guarantee protections for people with pre-existing conditions.