Trump's health insurance plan could inflate federal spending $38.7B over next decade

An independent federal study found President Donald Trump's planned expansion of short-term health plans will see higher enrollment and cost more than previously predicted, according to The New York Times.

Here are four things to know from the report.

1. The short-term policies have skimpier protections than employer-based and ACA marketplace insurance, as they aren't required to provide benefits like maternity care, prescription drug coverage and preventive care. In February, President Trump's administration projected a few hundred thousand Americans would sign up for the short-term plans.

2. However, a recent study from CMS' Chief Actuary Paul Spitalnic pegs enrollment at 1.4 million people in the first year of the policy, and 1.9 million by 2022, according to the NYT.

3. President Trump's administration also predicted the short-term plans would cost the government between $96 million and $168 million annually. But Mr. Spitalnic's report estimates that cost will be much higher, at $1.2 billion in 2019 and $38.7 billion over the next decade. The costs would rise as healthier individuals exit the ACA marketplace for less expensive short-term plans, leaving a costlier risk pool in their wake that would increase premiums and subsidies for remaining individual policyholders.

4. Mr. Spitalnic did acknowledge on average the short-term policies would cost, at $340 a month, much less than a $600 unsubsidized monthly premium for an ACA marketplace plan, according to the NYT.

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