Association and Short-Term Health Plans: A Lose-Lose Proposition - Families Usa Skip to Main Content

Association and Short-Term Health Plans: A Lose-Lose Proposition

By Shawn Gremminger,


Under the guise of creating low-cost health options, the Trump administration has two new regulations that will have dire consequences for two groups:

  • Young and healthy consumers lured into cut-rate, substandard plans that fall short when health problems develop
  • Older adults, women, and people with preexisting conditions, who would be left behind in a residual individual market with skyrocketing premiums and many geographic areas without any available plans

This fact sheet explains how these rules lead to the sale of sham health insurance, where consumers would pay lower costs in exchange for junk coverage that doesn’t cover essential health benefits. People who need comprehensive coverage would end up paying a lot more.

View our related infographic: TrumpCare: Bad for the Healthy, Bad for the Sick, Bad for the Market

Fully 90 percent of Americans support maintaining guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions, yet these regulations will allow the sale of insurance plans that can:

  • Deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions such as breast cancer survivors and people with diagnosed chronic conditions like depression, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Include unlimited premium increases based on age, gender, medical history, and other personal characteristics
  • Deny coverage of entire benefit categories that most Americans view as essential, including maternity care, prescription drugs, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders
  • End all coverage once claims exceed arbitrary annual or lifetime caps