Washington, D.C. — Senate Republicans are doing everything in their power to keep their health care repeal bill secret, yet details have emerged showing that the bill would punish individuals needing care for a wide range of conditions by letting insurers offer skimpy plans that do not cover core services. In states that allowed skimpy plans, people would have to purchase riders to obtain coverage for needed benefits. In a new column, the Center for American Progress estimated the cost of coverage riders that people with various health conditions would face in 2026, including pregnancy, lung cancer, and drug dependence.
In a state that did not require maternity benefits, for example, the premium for a maternity care rider would cost a woman an additional $17,320 in 2026. In states that waived requirements for substance use disorder and mental health benefits, coverage for drug dependence treatment would cost an extra $20,450, and coverage for depression would cost an extra $8,490.
“Allowing insurers to offer bare bones policies makes a mockery of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. They will still be forced to pay exorbitant amounts for lifesaving care, and those who cannot afford it will effectively have no coverage at all. The simple truth is that anyone who supports this bill does not support protections for those with pre-existing conditions,” said Sam Berger, senior policy adviser at CAP.
If a state were to waive all coverage requirements, insurance companies could exclude even routine care or hospital services from their standard plans and place annual or lifetime limits on coverage. In such worst-case scenarios, coverage riders would cost patients almost $73,000 for lung cancer and $28,660 for breast cancer. Hemophiliacs dependent on clotting factors for survival would need to pay an extra $344,430 to obtain comprehensive care that included full pharmacy benefits.
Click here to read “Senate Health Care Bill Could Drive Up Coverage Costs for Maternity Care and Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment” by Sam Berger and Emily Gee.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Devon Kearns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6290.