May 22, 2019

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bill to Stop Expansion of Junk Health Insurance Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and the entire Senate Democratic caucus in introducing the No Junk Plans Act. This legislation would overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term limited duration health insurance – junk insurance plans – that don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

“The administration’s expansion of junk plans is nothing other than a naked attempt to destabilize the American health care system and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Junk plans are intentionally deceptive, tricking Americans into buying insurance plans that do not cover preexisting conditions and often exclude coverage for essential services like prescription drugs, maternal care and emergency room visits. It’s unconscionable that this administration would threaten Nevadans’ health care and promote plans that don’t cover conditions as common as asthma, diabetes and pregnancy. I’ll continue to fight any effort that sabotages our health care system and threaten Nevadans’ access to quality coverage.”

The No Junk Plans Act of 2019 is supported by the entire Senate Democratic caucus and AARP, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, AIDS United, American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Association for Community Affiliated Plans, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, Mental Health America, Little Lobbyists, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Eating Disorders Coalition, National Hemophilia Foundation, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, March of Dimes, Families USA, MS Society and WomenHeart.

The House companion legislation to the No Junk Plans Act passed as part of H.R. 987 last Thursday, 234-183.


Short-term health insurance plans are called “junk plans” because they may exclude many types of care. Patients may purchase them thinking they have real insurance, only to find out once they are in the hospital that they have been paying for something with very little or no coverage for their actual health care needs. The Obama Administration limited short-term plans to three months so they would truly just be a bridge between comprehensive coverage plans. The Trump Administration made a new rule that expanded access to these plans, allowing consumers to have them for up to 36 months (including renewals).