Short-term health insurance plans promoted by the Trump administration as a cheaper alternative to Obamacare could actually end up costing more.
A new study from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society found the plans offers less protection and fewer benefits than Affordable Care Act-compliant coverage, which costs patients more out of pocket, reported the Houston Chronicle.
“We suspected based on the lower premiums that the benefits would not be as robust and saw that out in the data,” said Lucy Culp, executive director of state and government affairs for the Washington-based cancer research organization.
The monthly premium on one popular short-term policy was $77, researchers found, compared to $293 for a comparable ACA-compliant plan.
The study also found the deductible on the short-term plan was $12,500, compared to $4,600 on an ACA-compliant plan.
Short-term policies can be attractive to healthier patients looking to play lower premiums, but they can be disastrous for patients diagnosed with medical conditions.
“A segment of the population that is lower income may not have great access to affordable options,” Culp told the newspaper. “They would’ve qualified for the Medicaid expansion, but in a state like Texas that doens’t offer that, it may be more affordable in the short-term if you’re looking just at the premium.”
The Trump administration expanded support for limited plans in 2018, and federal officials also scrapped penalties for not carrying comprehensive health care coverage.