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Senator Baldwin Applauds Biden Administration Decision 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 by President Trump in 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin 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 and 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 take action since he took office.

“Junk plans are just that: junk. The lower sticker price misleads Americans into buying health insurance that does not have to cover pre-existing conditions, prescription drugs, maternity care, and a host of other basic needs, all while sticking patients with a huge bill to pay out of pocket when they do need health care,” said Senator Baldwin. “By finally limiting the duration of these plans and providing better protections for Americans, we are helping ensure that when families spend their hard-earned dollars on health insurance, they get the high-quality coverage they deserve.”

The new draft regulation 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. Once finalized, the Biden Administration’s rule will restore a 90-day limit on the use of STLDI plans, instead of the current four years maximum, so junk plans can only be used on a temporary basis as intended.  

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

  • 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.