Patrick Ishmael

Earlier this year I talked about a proposal in the Missouri legislature that I thought was a great idea: to expand the period of short-term medical insurance plans up to a year. Free of many of the mandates commonly seen in Obamacare-approved plans, short-term medical insurance gives customers an opportunity to purchase coverage at a cheaper price.

The excitement surrounding such a reform is not reserved to Missouri. The Trump administration itself has pushed very hard for such expansions, and central to that push is the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar. At a conference late last month, he laid out why this reform is important.

“We believe sensible state regulation of [short-term health insurance plans] is important,” Azar said. “But millions of Americans are in need of affordable insurance options, and states can help build this market outside of Obamacare’s broken regulations.”

As more Americans enter the new economic environment, they find themselves unable to purchase quality health insurance, Azar told the audience. The new policy will give states greater flexibility to create more affordable insurance options for all consumers, especially those workers who do not receive health insurance through an employer, Azar says.

“While these plans aren’t for everyone, we believe they can be an important option for many—people who have been priced out of Obamacare plans, who are between other sources of coverage, or who are independent contractors in today’s gig economy,” Azar said.

You can find out more about short-term medical insurance here. It’s my hope that Missouri makes liberalization of short-term medical insurance one of its highest priorities next year.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.