Governor Vetoes Short-Term Insurance Bill

Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed a bill favored by many Republican lawmakers that could have encouraged some people to stick longer with short-term health coverage that critics label “junk insurance.”

The bill’s backers say short-term plans are mainly for people who are between jobs, employed but trying to find insurance on their own, waiting for an employer’s coverage to start, or retiring before they’re eligible for federal Medicare coverage for people 65 or older.

They said companies are up front about what’s covered and what’s not, and are regulated by the state.

Such plans, lasting up to a year, offer lower premiums than comprehensive plans, but don’t cover pre-existing medical conditions and other items such as medications or maternity care.

Kelly advocates expanding the state’s Medicaid program for the needy, and said lawmakers should do that if they want to improve access to health care.