Democrats investigating insurers' short-term health plans

Twelve health insurers received letters from House Democrats requesting information about their short-term health plans, according to Bloomberg.

Anthem, UnitedHealth Group, Health Insurance Innovations and Blue Cross Blue Shield parent company Cambia Health Solutions are among the health insurers that lawmakers are probing. The health insurers didn't respond to Bloomberg's request for comment.

In the letters, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey and other committee members sought information about how insurers market their short-term health plans, as well as the percentage of applicants whose coverage is denied. In addition, lawmakers want to know what brokers are paid to help sell the plans. They also requested plan applications and underwriting documents.  

President Donald Trump expanded the availability of short-term health plans in 2018, with proponents of the plans saying they increase health insurance choices for Americans who face rising premiums and fewer plan options in the ACA individual market. However, short-term plans are not required to comply with consumer protections established by the ACA, such as the requirement to cover essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions.

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