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4 Issues Shaping Health Care Policy

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on January 28, 2019

In 2019, health care issues remain on top of the to-do list for the White House and lawmakers. Congress continues to tackle important issues that impact all Americans, such as lowering the price of prescription drugs.

Some of the policy priorities facing health insurance providers as they work to improve access and affordability include:

1. Out-of-Control Drug Pricing

When it comes to prescription drugs, the problem is the price. The lack of competition, transparency, and accountability in the prescription drug market has allowed drugmakers to take advantage of a broken market for their own financial gain. As a result, everyone—patients, businesses, taxpayers, hospitals, doctors, pharmacists—pays more.

Health insurance providers are committed to finding consumer-focused, market-based solutions that can lower drug costs while ensuring access to new medicines.

2. What’s Next for Medicaid

The Medicaid policy landscape is fast-changing. What remains constant is that Medicaid provides financial security and quality health care to 74 million hardworking Americans who depend on it.

  • While Americans on Medicaid are more likely to have health problems, their insurance coverage gives them the resources they need to take charge of their health: Adult Medicaid enrollees were almost 5x more likely, and children were 4x more likely, to have a usual source of care than people with no health coverage.
  • Adults were more than 4x more likely, and children were 2x-3x times more likely, to receive certain preventive care services than people with no health insurance.

2. Medicare Advantage Innovation

Medicare Advantage invests in new, innovative programs and works hard to improve how care is delivered, lower the costs of care, and lead to healthy outcomes for patients.

Unlike traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage allows adults 65+ to get vision, dental, hearing, and wellness care without worrying about additional costs. Recognizing the connection between health and lifestyle, MA health plans go beyond traditional medical care to help their members live active and healthy lives.

4. Social Barriers Influencing Health

The idea that where we grow, live, work, and play can shape our health isn’t new. But by addressing these social and economic factors, we can help people in their communities become healthier.

Health insurance providers are focused on improving social determinants of health by coordinating housing, employment, education, and food services and supporting other needs like child care—in addition to traditional health services.

Changes to health care impact people in a very real and personal way. Join health care industry experts, policymakers, academics, and thought leaders in March to get some clarity on what’s happening now and discover strategies to stay ahead of change.


Register for AHIP’s 2019 National Health Policy Conference, March 13-14. 

Then stay for the National Conference on the Individual and Small-Group Markets, March 14-15.