While short-term medical health plans have received recent White House support, numerous lawsuits have been filed nationwide by angry customers disputing exclusions over pre-existing conditions and the outright denial of claims under these reduced-duration insurance policies.
The idea for these short-term plans is that they would serve as cost-efficient alternative health plans outside of the Affordable Care Act. But the short-term plans “are an unfortunate end-run around what the ACA was supposed to do,” stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Rachel Geman. “It seems logical that we’ll have more underlying problems and more lawsuits by expanding these types of plans.”
“Companies can abuse the privilege of exemption over preexisting conditions,” Geman explained. “It is a vehicle to deny coverage.”
According to the HeraldNet, “The Affordable Care Act pushes Americans to buy comprehensive long-term coverage; the Obama administration limited short-term plans to three months and prevents them from being extended. The temporary plans are geared toward people who are between jobs or considering retirement.”
On October 12th, the President proposed an executive order to allow these short-term policies to last almost a year and to make them renewable. This action “could undermine Obamacare by dividing the insured between cheaper healthy customers and those with costly ailments,” noted the HeraldNet. As many as 1 million people have had to get coverage under short-term health plans. Unfortunately, when many of these individuals actually have to get coverage for a health issue, they discover how incomplete or even non-existent coverage under such plans can be. And their resulting debts end up being real in direct proportion to how insubstantial their temporary insurance turned out to be.
About Rachel Geman
A partner in Lieff Cabraser’s New York office, Rachel Geman’s practice is dedicated to employment law, consumer protection, and recovering money for the government lost to fraud through False Claims Act litigation. On behalf of her clients, Ms. Geman has filed qui tam suits in multiple courts involving numerous industries that are under investigation, and is presently involved in active litigation involving off-label and kickback claims in the pharmaceutical industry. Her current class action cases involve employment discrimination, consumer civil rights, and consumer protection.