The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury yesterday proposed increasing the flexibility over short-term, limited duration health insurance. The rule calls for increasing the maximum duration for these plans from 3 months to 12 months.

Extending this time period for short-term coverage will help those between jobs or taking a semester off from school. It will also give families across the country real healthcare choice at an affordable price. An unsubsidized ACA-compliant plan costs about $393 per month, while a short term, limited-duration plan costs about $124 a month.  

President Trump has focused on lowering the cost of healthcare and expanding coverage during his Presidency given the failure of Obamacare in recent years. Under Obamacare, families have been forced to purchase unaffordable plans, access to care has decreased, while premiums have skyrocketed. According to the Department of Health and Services, from 2013 to 2017, average premiums, for example, have more than doubled, while half of U.S. counties have only one insurance carrier. 

The administration should be commended for taking this important step forward in promoting healthcare and allowing consumers more options when purchasing in healthcare coverage.

While this is an important step forward toward promoting affordable healthcare and flexibility, it is still just one step.

The Trump administration and Congress have achieved other victories, such as the repeal of the individual mandate tax penalty in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This granted massive tax relief to low-income families across the country as 80 percent of those who paid the penalty who paid the penalty earned less than $50,000 per year. This bill also did not repeal the option to purchase healthcare, every American that was eligible for Obamacare and for the Obamacare subsidies are still eligible for them. The only difference is there is no penalty for not purchasing insurance.  

Even so, more work remains to be done.

Republicans should act to delay and repeal the nearly 20 new or higher Obamacare taxes. They should also promote consumer choice through the expansion of HSAs while addressing many Obamacare regulations that have increased the cost of care.

Regardless, this rule is an excellent step in the right direction and will provide flexibility to consumers to purchase temporary health insurance that better fits their need.