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Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Applauds Biden-Harris Admin’s Action to Throw Out Expanded ‘Junk’ Health Insurance Plans

TAMPA, FL – Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) released a statement applauding the Biden-Harris Administration’s announced action to crack down on the sale of Short-Term, Limited Duration Health Insurance (STLDI) plans, commonly referred to as “junk plans.” Originally intended as short-term, gap coverage, junk plans do not provide the same critical consumer protections as comprehensive plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Junk Plans can systematically discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions, are subject to annual or lifetime limits, and fail to cover needed benefits and basic medical services while leaving Americans on the hook for costly medical services.

A harmful Trump Administration expansion of junk plans in 2018, combined with deceptive marketing and consumer confusion, has led individuals to purchase these plans with disastrous consequences for their health and their pocketbooks. President Biden's decisive action today would limit the coverage length of these plans to no more than four months, halt harmful insurer practices used to evade duration limits and provide clearer information to consumers about the plan they are purchasing. 

“For years, I fought the Trump Administration’s expansion of insufficient Junk Plans that have discriminated against Americans with preexisting conditions and, all too often, left unknowing American families on the hook for costly medical bills,” said Rep. Castor. “Junk Plans are no substitute for meaningful, comprehensive health insurance and often lack critical consumer protections provided under the ACA. I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking action to crack down on Junk Plans to protect Americans from being duped into buying plans that do not provide the coverage they expect and need.”

Castor has been leading the fight in Congress to eliminate junk plans from the ACA Marketplace following the Trump Administration’s aggressive efforts to expand their use through deceptive and discriminatory practices. This Congress, Castor reintroduced H.R. 711, the “Throw Away Junk Plans Act,” legislation that would eliminate the exemption for Junk Plans from the ACA’s consumer protections. She also wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Department of the Treasury urging immediate action to roll back the Trump administration’s troubling expansion of Junk Plans, following a 2020 report by Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats on the Committee’s year-long investigation into the anti-consumer practices of STLDI health care plans and the insurance brokers who sell and sign people up for these Junk Plans.