3 million Americans have short-term health plans, House committee finds

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An investigation from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce found about 3 million Americans had short-term health plans last year, representing a 27 percent increase from 2018.

The increase in short-term health plan enrollment came after the Trump administration extended how long consumers could hold the plans and allowed the plans to skirt some requirements under the ACA.

HHS and Republican leaders have said expansions of short-term health plans help increase health insurance choices for Americans who face increasing premiums and fewer plan options in the ACA individual market. However, Democratic leaders in the Energy and Commerce committee found that the insurers examined in their investigation regularly denied claims for medical care and excluded coverage based on preexisting conditions. 

"These plans are a bad deal for consumers and oftentimes leave patients saddled with thousands of dollars in medical debt," the House leaders said

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