On September 11, 2023, the National Women’s Law Center submitted a comment in response to a proposed rule about short-term health insurance and other forms of “junk insurance”—products that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s protections and leave many people without the coverage they need. 

The ACA’s consumer protections—like the ban on insurance plans charging women more than men, refusing to enroll people who have preexisting conditions, or excluding basic services from coverage—have allowed more people to get access to comprehensive coverage. These protections have been especially important for those who were most heavily impacted by harmful and discriminatory pre-ACA practices, such women of color, disabled women, and LGBTQI+ people. But junk insurance products, like many short-term plans, often do not comply with these protections. As a result, these plans frequently leave people without the coverage they need, charge them more, or refuse to enroll them entirely. And because of misleading or even fraudulent marketing, many people do not have accurate information about the problems these plans pose before they try to enroll. 

Junk insurance has proliferated in recent years, especially after the previous administration loosened important restrictions on these products. The proposed rule seeks to restore those requirements and build upon them to help mitigate the harms of junk insurance, ensure that short-term insurance is temporary in nature, and make it easier for people to get the information they need to make meaningful decisions about these plans. Our comment supported the proposed rule, made recommendations to strengthen it, and highlighted its impacts on communities who are disproportionately harmed by junk insurance. 

Our full comment can be found here.