Officials are promoting lower-cost, short-term health plans

U.S. President Trump delivers remarks in Washington

Officials unveiled a final rule that will make it easier to obtain coverage through short-term health insurance plans, which don't have to adhere to the law's consumer protections.

But behind these somewhat comical linguistic gymnastics lie some very real dangers for patients, especially those with chronic health conditions.

Earlier Wednesday, the Trump administration said it's clearing the way for health insurers to sell short-term plans as a low-priced alternative to pricey Obama-law policies for people struggling with high premiums. Combine this with the four million who may sign up for an association health plan under another recent Trump rule change, and the GOP may expand coverage considerably.

If successful, the lawsuit also would nullify Trump's new rule allowing consumers to buy short-term health insurance that doesn't meet ACA requirements. "When people buy them, they are always going to be disappointed".

Short-term plans could roil the Obamacare market by drawing healthier consumers away from the exchanges and pushing up the premiums for those who remain.

It's unclear how that might happen, since versions of such plans have always been available - including during the Obama administration.

Have you ever had a short-term insurance policy?

HHS issued a final rule on short-term health plans August 1. Asa result, any enrollee who develops a terminal or chronic condition or who has a premature child is left unprotected from catastrophic costs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma are also named as codefendants with the president in the 130-page suit.

Short-term, limited-duration insurance in the past has been aimed mainly at people who are between jobs or have other short-term needs, but the Trump administration said it wants to give consumers more choices in the individual market risk pools. And insurance companies can deny customers coverage on these plans if they have a pre-existing medical condition and charge people more if they are likely to need medical care.

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'The insurance company will ask you a series of questions about your health, ' Moriello said.

"People who have already jumped off the sinking ship are looking for the right boat in the water for them", Haislmaier said.

Short-term plans are less expensive because, unlike their ACA counterparts, which cannot bar people with preexisting health conditions, insurers selling these policies can be choosy - rejecting people with illnesses or limiting their coverage.

"It's a way better alternative to not being insured", said Jeff Smedsrud of Pivot Health.

That same report expects premiums for ACA plans to increase 15 percent next year, in part because many consumers may be less likely to buy coverage without the threat of a tax penalty.

Nonetheless, the CEO of a company that offers short-term plans said they're a "rational decision" for some people.

Short-term plans join "association health plans" for small businesses as the administration promotes lower-cost insurance options that cover less.

Schumer said Democrats will introduce a resolution to rescind the rule using the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to revoke an administration regulation with a simple majority any time up to 60 legislative days after it is published in the Federal Register.

However, these plans also don't have to adhere to all of Obamacare's rules, particularly the one requiring insurers to offer comprehensive coverage.

They predict about 600,000 people will enroll in a short-term plan in 2019, with 100,000 to 200,000 of those dropping ACA coverage to do so.

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