Health Care

SB 993 would provide more health insurance choices

February 19, 2019

Kaitlyn Finley

Frustrated with expensive, one-size-fits-all Obamacare insurance plans, many Oklahomans are searching for alternatives that better fit their needs.

In August 2018, the Trump administration rolled back restrictive regulations on a specific category of insurance—short-term, limited-duration insurance (also known as short-term plans). Because these plans are not subject to Obamacare regulations, they may be up to 70 to 80 percent cheaper than certain Obamacare plans. Short-term plans are available for purchase any time during the year and many plans may include next-day coverage, quickly aiding people who are in transitional periods in their lives. This could include those who are changing career paths or retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

Although President Trump scaled back federal regulations for short-term plans, many states, including Oklahoma, still impose additional restrictions on short-term plans. Currently, Oklahoma law limits short-term policies to six months without the option to renew coverage.

Legislation proposed by state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow), Senate Bill 993, would make Oklahoma’s law match the Trump administration’s reforms. This would allow Oklahomans to purchase short-term plans that would include up to a year of coverage with the option to renew for up to 36 months. According to the bill, short-term insurance providers would have to disclose to consumers which traditional major medical benefits are covered in their policies.

Oklahoma lawmakers should support legislative efforts like SB 993 that will provide Oklahomans with more choices for affordable health insurance.