That is the central change the Trump administration is making now, allowing the plans to last up to 364 days and letting insurers renew them for as many as three years - a renewal that the ACA has forbidden.
Federal health officials say the plans can last for up to 12 months and may be renewed for up to 36 months.
Many comments came from people who said they have existing medical conditions that - before the Affordable Care Act's consumer protections were put in place - would have been unable to get insurance that would cover their condition.
But patient advocates and health policy experts argue that these policies provide only skimpy coverage and will undermine the Affordable Care Act.
We are the wealthiest nation in the world and it's a disgrace that tax cuts to the wealthy supersede caring for the basic needs of its people. Before, short-term plans could not last longer than three months.
The plans, which have been available for years and were originally created to fill a temporary gap in coverage, will likely be cheaper than Obamacare policies. In response, Obama-era health officials in 2016 restricted the short-term policies to three months. Tell us about it here.
The costs of the new plans will be set in the marketplace, but without ObamaCare's mandates they will be cheaper.
The new rules will require insurers to include clear explanations about what is covered, and to warn consumers that they do not have an automatic right to renew their policies when they expire. And, unlike Obamacare policies, they don't have to cap consumers' cost-sharing burden at $7,350 for 2018.
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These plans can vary premiums based on age, gender, health status, and medical history.
Republicans failed to repeal and replace ObamaCare, so its costs have continued to rise, and now Democrats want to blame the GOP for increases that are baked into the health law's faulty design. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey of current plans found none that covered maternity, and many that did not cover prescription drugs or substance abuse treatment - required under the Obama law.
UnitedHealthGroup's Golden Rule Insurance, National General Insurance, IHC Group, American National Life and some regional Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans sell short-term insurance; Aetna is considering entering the market. The two major insurance industry associations also expressed concerns about expanding the availability of these plans.
Coleman says the average use of short-term coverage was almost seven months, so many consumers were having their deductibles reset three times. Such plans can be offered across state lines and are also designed for self-employed people.
Short-term plans don't have to meet the Affordable Care Act's consumer protection and coverage requirements, so many will not cover services such as mental health care or prescription drugs.
"We make no representation that it's equivalent coverage", Parker said. "These policies will not necessarily cover the same benefits or extend coverage to the same degree".
The administration estimates that premiums for a short-term plan could be about one-third the cost of comprehensive coverage. Insurers in the individual market aren't allowed to spend more than 20% on these expenses. They predict about 600,000 people will enroll in a short-term plan in 2019, with 100,000 to 200,000 of those dropping ACA coverage to do so. The Obama administration limited the sale of short-term plans to 90-day periods as a stop-gap between more robust plans. The administration says it expects about 1.6 million people to pick a short-term plan when the plans are fully phased in. No one is above the rule of law, including the U.S. President. What if they had the constant worry of how to pay for their insurance?
But short-term insurance clearly has fewer benefits. Also, the offerings could be less attractive to young women if they don't cover maternity benefits.