Proposed Rule on Short-Term Health Coverage Provides Flexibility, Will Enable Entrepreneurship

By at 20 February, 2018, 2:13 pm



Washington, D.C. –  Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Treasury Department issued a proposed rule on short-term limited-duration health insurance plans. The rule would increase the coverage period of the plans from less than three months to less than twelve months. Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan said that entrepreneurs, the self-employed and people who work for small businesses on a short-term basis need more flexibility and affordability in health coverage and welcomed the proposed rule.

“Oppressive health coverage costs are weighing down growth, dynamism and wages in the U.S. economy. This cost drain must be addressed to enable strong and sustainable economic growth and more entrepreneurship. In addition, millions of Americans still lack coverage despite the promises of Obamacare. Health insurance is too expensive and there are limited choices,” said Kerrigan.

“Limited-duration health care plans play a vital role in the marketplace, particularly when individuals and their families need coverage during career and work changes.  Many more people are cycling between full-time jobs and ‘gig’ work, and temporary health insurance plans help fill the ‘coverage gap’ at a reasonable cost.  Our regulatory system must take into account how people currently work, how they want to work if they have a major life change, or if they want to open a business.  Affordable health coverage provides Americans with the flexibility they need when there is a break in coverage or to pursue their dream of opening a business. SBE Council looks forward to commenting favorably on the proposed rule,” said Kerrigan.

It is forecasted that by 2027, more than half of the workforce will have been or will be independent contractors. In 2017, 57.3 million Americans (36% of the workforce) did freelancing work. Sometimes these turn into full-time businesses and other times freelancers cycle back into full-time jobs. According to Kerrigan, the effort to make temporary health coverage plans more practical and accessible is an important policy priority for SBE Council. Read SBE Council’s agenda for Health Care Affordability and Innovation here.

Here is the CMS Fact Sheet on the proposed rule. CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule for 60 days. The proposed rule can be read in its entirety here.

CONTACT:  Karen Kerrigan

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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