Cancer Care Providers Applaud Final Rule to Strengthen Health Insurance Standards

Rule Will Rein in Short-Term Limited Duration Plans
For immediate release
March 28, 2024


Allison Miller

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Today the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor and the Treasury Department finalized a rule regulating the availability of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans. The rule would restrict the availability of these plans to no more than four months.

STLDI plans are exempt from most of the rules governing health coverage under the Affordable Care Act and can deny or charge people more for coverage based on their health status. These plans, which were originally intended to be a short-term bridge to comprehensive coverage, have left thousands of people with cancer, cancer survivors and their families purchasing barebones plans often without understanding how inadequate the coverage is until they have a serious health issue.

A statement from the Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board Chair, Everett Vokes, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, follows:

“This rule will restore and strengthen patient protections in the insurance market and help ensure people with cancer and their families have coverage when they need it most. Short-term plans have been marketed as a low-cost equivalent to comprehensive coverage, but the reality is that these plans often deny claims for essential benefits like hospitalization or prescription drugs. They can also deny or drop coverage because of someone’s pre-existing conditions. These plans were always meant to be a short-term bridge to better coverage. This rule returns appropriate guardrails that protect the patients who rely on these short-term coverage options.

“Caring for patients, our members have seen families and individuals devastated by overwhelming financial burdens on top of the stress of their diagnoses. Scaling back these inadequate plans, along with the widespread availability of more generous subsidies to purchase quality coverage on the exchange, will help millions of people in this country get quality health care coverage.

“We commend the administration for finalizing this rule and look forward to its implementation.”

About ASCO: 

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO®) is a 501 (c)(6) organization that represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. in 2019, ASCO works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high quality, equitable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports robust federal funding for research on the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @ASCO.