PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Doug Ducey just signed a bill to expand the options Arizonans have for health insurance.

The legislation will increase the amount of time a person can be on a short-term insurance plan from six months to up to three years.

But not everyone is going to jump in line to sign up.

Some health advocacy groups claim the new law will do more harm than good.

Several medical professionals gathered at the Capitol Tuesday to speak out against the legislation.

Critics said it's just a way to get around the Affordable Care Act and its requirement that insurance companies must cover patients with pre-existing conditions.

The Arizona  Department of Insurance released this statement:

"Short term (sic) medical plans are not a threat to Arizona citizens as long as they come with the proper disclosures outlining the specifics of those plans to consumers.

"SB1109 includes a requirement for disclosure of the exclusions and limitations of the policy both on the fact page of the policy and on the application for coverage. We believe that these disclosures will provide Arizona consumers with the information they need to make an informed buying decision.

"Consumers should have choice in the healthcare (sic) marketplace. If a consumer chooses a short term (sic) plan that comes with the appropriate disclosures, it is not the role of government to second guess that consumer's choice."

Pre-existing conditions mom

Avondale mom Karen Alaniz is worried about how the new law could impact her 15-year old son.

Avondale mom Karen Alaniz is worried about how the new law could impact her 15-year old son, Michael, who needs constant medical attention. He was born with a number of heart problems.

"What if we can't afford to keep our home? What if we can't afford to give Michael the care that he needs?" asked Alaniz. "Should we have to choose? Should we have to choose between Michael's healthcare and our future and family's survival?"

Right now, the family's health insurance covers most of Michael's care, but the Avondale school teacher said if her situation changes and she's forced to buy a short-term health plan, it could put her kid's health at risk.

Pre-existing conditions

Michael, 15, was born with a number of heart problems and now needs constant medical attention.

"That is just a stress that is completely overwhelming, and I'm not the only one," said Alaniz. "There are hundreds and thousands of families in my exact situation, where every day we're dealing with our children's healthcare, but more, we're dealing with the money and financial aspect."

Supporters of the short-term health insurance plans claim say they provide another more affordable option than what Obamacare offers.

Patrick Ptak, a spokesman for the governor's office, released the following statement.

“Governor Ducey strongly supports ensuring that Arizonans with preexisting (sic) conditions have access to affordable, quality health care. This legislation simply provides consumers additional options to choose from in the health care market. It does not limit health care nor does it jeopardize plans already in place.”

Alaniz said the plans may be misleading and don't cover many pre-existing conditions.

"This is not something my family would be interested in purchasing because it's like a patch on a tire that you're hoping will work, but it won't sustain. It will eventually give out."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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Reporter

Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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(4) comments

HoangLinh97

Bà bầu bị chảy máu cam là vấn đề nhiều người mắc phải khi mang thai, vậy chảy máu cam có nguy hiểm không, nguyên nhân và cách khắc phục là gì. Hãy cùng tìm hiểu.

Kjflores18

The short term plans are an option for healthy individuals and have not been and are not an option for people with pre-existing conditions like those mentioned in this article. If this family lost their current insurance to a qualifying event, they would be eligible for the Affordable Care Act and have no lapse in coverage. They would not he forced to purchase one of these short term plans. Many people are misinformed or have not been educated by a health insurance professional.

ObeyLaws

Thank you for providing some healthcare options, governor. No one is obligated to use this plan if they don't want it. I'm tired of paying ridiculously high premiums to underwrite other peoples' insurance. My insurance costs $750 per month for a low level, high deductible PPO plan (with no pre-existing conditions.) It's obscene.

Clint

Typical of Ducey to harm the citizens of Arizona under the guise of helping. It is a step backwards rather than forwards. And these are just a way for insurance companies to rip off citizens in another way.
These sort of plans should not allowed at all, even under Obamacare.

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