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Menendez, Booker, colleagues urge Biden administration to limit availability of junk health care plans

Junk plans can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don't have to cover essential services like maternity care, prescription drugs, substance use disorder treatment, and emergency room care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both-D-N.J.) Thursday joined a group of 32 Democratic colleagues in a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take immediate action to address short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans, or junk plans, which fail to provide adequate, comprehensive health insurance coverage.

In 2018, in an effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump Administration made junk plans more widely available to consumers. Since then, these plans have continued to expand; however, they are not required to adhere to important standards, including prohibitions on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, coverage for the 10 essential health benefit (EHB) categories, and annual out-of-pocket maximums.

“Now, more than ever, the Department of Health and Human Services must act. Beginning in April, millions of Americans will likely lose the Medicaid coverage that they have relied upon during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must protect those who will be looking for coverage in the near future, and take steps to ensure that these plans are not allowed to further proliferate,” wrote the group of 34 Senators to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Alongside Sens. Menendez and Booker, the letter was signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.),  Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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