May 21, 2019

Manchin Introduces Legislation To Overturn Expansion Of Junk Insurance Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today introduced legislation to overturn the administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans that aren’t required to provide healthcare coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or cover services such as prescription drugs, emergency room visits, substance use disorder treatment, or maternity care. The House companion legislation passed as part of H.R. 987 on Thursday, 234-183. The No Junk Plans Act is cosponsored by the entire Senate Democratic caucus. 

“Nearly 800,000 West Virginians have pre-existing conditions and as their Senator, I can’t let our health insurance rules change and put their coverage at risk. These misleading short-term or “junk” insurance plans can deny coverage to West Virginians with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to provide essential health services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits, substance use disorder treatment and maternity care,” said Senator Manchin. “I am fighting to ensure that every West Virginian with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied healthcare coverage or be charged more for their coverage. That is why I have helped introduce this bill today and I will not stop fighting to protect West Virginians’ healthcare.”

The nation’s top healthcare organizations, representing tens of thousands of the nation’s physicians, patients, medical students and other health experts, are voicing strong support for this legislation to overturn Trump’s expansion of junk plans. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network recently looked at the impact of junk insurance plans in six states, and found that a woman diagnosed with breast cancer while enrolled in a junk plan would be forced to pay more than $40,000 out of pocket for her care. Under an ACA plan, that same woman’s out-of-pocket costs would be capped at $8,000. Not one of the plans reviewed included coverage for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

This legislation is supported by AARP, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, AIDS United, American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Association for Community Affiliated Plans, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, Mental Health America, Little Lobbyists, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Eating Disorders Coalition, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, March of Dimes, Families USA, MS Society and WomenHeart.