March of Dimes issued the following statement from President Stacey D. Stewart on the Administration’s proposed rule to expand the availability of short-term, limited duration insurance plans across the nation:
“March of Dimes has conveyed to the Administration our profound concern that the expansion of short-term, limited duration (STLD) coverage is the wrong solution to rising health insurance costs.
“It’s easy to offer inexpensive coverage if a plan doesn’t cover the services people need. A new Kaiser Family Foundation study shows that, of all the STLD plans currently on the market, none covers maternity care. Let me repeat: across the entire universe of short-term, limited duration plans, zero maternity coverage is offered.
"Half of all pregnancies across our nation are unplanned. Women who purchase STLD plans in good faith, not expecting to get pregnant, will find themselves without coverage and potentially without access to health care if they do conceive. Other women may purchase these plans and be unaware of this gaping hole in coverage. In either case, the resulting lack of coverage for prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care for mother and baby could lead to significant consequences for both the health and economic wellbeing of women, their babies and their families.
“Finally, STLD plans fail to serve pregnant women, and infants in other ways. These plans almost always exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions, which may include a prior pregnancy, birth, or caesarean section in addition to chronic conditions like high blood pressure or obesity. Families with STLD plans should also be prepared to be denied coverage for NICU care for a baby born preterm, with a birth defect or with other serious health needs.
“It simply does not make sense to encourage people to buy health insurance coverage that we know will not serve their needs. March of Dimes urges the Administration either to withdraw this proposal or to ensure that all STLD plans will cover maternity and newborn care and other essential health benefits.”
March of Dimes has signed four coalition letters or statements strongly opposing the expanded availability of these plans, all available here, as well as an associated media statement.