Statement attributed to

Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH

President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) deeply appreciates the Biden administration’s final rule released today protecting consumers from low-quality health coverage by cracking down on junk insurance. These short-term policies are often marketed and sold in a misleading and deceptive manner, leading consumers to confuse them for comprehensive insurance. Under the new rule, health insurance companies must clearly state what consumers are buying so they are not left with onerous medical bills after accessing health care. The changes laid out in today’s rule will lessen risks to consumers, promote transparency, expand patient protections, and help to stabilize the market.

“While these policies of short duration may be less expensive, they also provide fewer benefits and do not have to comply with critical consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act. For too long, companies have used deceptive marketing to trick people into buying health plans that discriminate based on pre-existing conditions while providing little or no coverage. The AMA opposed the definitional changes to these plans in 2018, and we are thankful for the administration’s work to ensure consumers are empowered to make more informed coverage purchasing decisions moving forward.

“The AMA also applauds work by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to streamline Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment in a final rule released earlier this week. The rule will simplify the enrollment process and reduce other enrollment barriers for individuals who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. Complex applications and duplicative requests for documentation disproportionately impact marginalized and minoritized individuals. No one should experience gaps in coverage due to burdensome administrative processes. Even brief gaps in coverage can be extremely disruptive for medical treatments and medication adherence.

“Lastly, the AMA appreciates the newly announced extension of a temporary special enrollment period to help people who are no longer eligible for Medicaid or CHIP transition to marketplace coverage.

“Together, these actions will strengthen patient protections and close coverage gaps, helping millions of Americans gain or keep coverage and access care.”

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.