NAMI is Concerned about Harmful Health Plans

5/29/2018

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed changes that would expand the sale of certain types of health insurance plans, called “short-term limited duration plans.” If finalized, this rule could negatively impact access to health and mental health care for people with mental illness.

Unlike other types of health insurance plans, these short-term limited duration plans would not need to comply with patient protections put in place under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This means that short-term limited duration plans do not have to:

  • Cover pre-existing conditions like mental illness;
  • Provide essential health benefits, including mental health and substance use care;
  • Have adequate provider networks; or,
  • Comply with other key consumer protections that were put in place by the ACA. 

Many people who have enrolled in these plans have later discovered that their plan does not cover needed mental health care, leaving them with high medical bills or causing them to go without needed health care altogether. 

The proposed rule would expand the availability of short-term limited duration plans. NAMI is concerned that doing so will raise premiums for all people seeking comprehensive health and mental health plans, while those enrolled in short-term limited duration health plans may find themselves without any coverage for mental health care. 

NAMI strongly believes that finalizing this proposal will limit access to quality and affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans and will unfairly harm individuals with mental health conditions. NAMI has urged HHS to withdraw the proposed rule until it can protect individuals with mental illness and move us toward a health care system that provides high-quality, affordable mental health care for every American.

NAMI will continue to provide updates on this proposal to the NAMI community.