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Bare-Bones Health Policies Are Cheaper Than ACA Plans—and Riskier Too

Executive Director - Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sales are growing for a type of bare-bones health policy that offers a cheaper alternative to traditional insurance but leaves buyers risking big bills if they have major medical needs.
Known as fixed indemnity plans, the products offer limited help, typically paying set amounts toward the cost of doctor visits, hospital days or other services..
They generally carry restrictions on people with pre-existing conditions, and they aren’t considered true health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But insurance agents say individuals are increasingly purchasing the plans as a substitute for ACA coverage, which has become far more costly for many people who don’t get federal subsidies.
“Without question, people are using that as a good alternative when they can’t afford anything else,” said Dave Keller, an executive at Independence Holding Co., known as IHC Group, which says sales of its indemnity products last year were roughly 10 times the year before.
Other insurers and insurance agents, including eHealth Inc., American Insurance Agencies Direct LLC and AgileHealthInsurance.com, a unit of Health Insurance Innovations Inc., also say they have seen recent indemnity sales grow. Many of the products are sold only to those who can attest to being healthy.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bare-bones-health-policies-are-cheaper-than-aca-plans-riskier-too-1524052801?utm_campaign=KHN: Daily Health Policy Report&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=62226035&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8EapjynRpHjKMJJNkXxaadJ4Io9SS5g4THAlrMlVhtcqTvioDaaP8zwSBn3CHIZ_zOZgfRxWVG9vRp_ksm29e1X_DTcg&_hsmi=62226035

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