Trump Wants to ‘Fix’ Obamacare With Low-Cost Plans. Here’s What You Need to Know About Them

President Trump’s latest effort to tackle health care and the Affordable Care Act is to allow consumers to buy short-term health care plans for up to a year, which experts say could destabilize the individual market and drive up costs for many consumers.

Trump and the GOP are pushing the executive order, which the president signed today, as a way to bring down health care costs and give consumers more choice. But that’s not exactly what would happen.

Short-term insurance plans, which Trump’s order allows people to stay on for up to a year, would likely be favored by healthy people in the individual market. These plans aren’t governed by the ACA’s rules, thus they would be “cheaper” because they cover far less. But it’s just the premiums you would be saving on; deductibles, coinsurance, co-payments, riders to cover additional care—those costs would all add up very quickly.

These plans would also likely have adverse effects for people who choose ACA-compliant plans, experts say. That’s because the people who need more comprehensive care—older, sicker—would buy those plans, while healthier, younger people would likely choose the cheaper ones. That would drive up costs for older, sicker people, effectively creating two different risk pools. The ACA was designed to eliminate all of those differences in coverage so that prices could remain competitive for everyone.


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Because these plans aren’t governed by the ACA’s rules, they do not have to cover essential health benefits, which include things like maternity care, mental…


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