A Year-End Reflection

by Marilyn Tavenner

December 21, 2017

No one could have predicted what 2017 would bring. It was filled with changing political landscapes. New challenges. And high expectations from the American people.

Through it all, our commitment did not waver. We stayed focused on our vision of improving the health and financial stability of everyone our members serve.

  • We promoted the value and importance of Medicaid. Medicaid serves more than 74 million Americans – low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. We also advocated for continued funding for CHIP, which is essential to the health of millions of children.
  • We helped strengthen Medicare Advantage (MA). Ahead of the 2018 MA rate notice, nearly 350 members of Congress came together across the aisle to voice their concern about potential cuts, and to protect Medicare Advantage benefits that continue to deliver value.
  • We promoted the value of employer-sponsored coverage. Throughout the debates over health care reform and tax reform, we reminded Congress of the value of employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). Health plans in these markets don’t just pay for patients’ medical bills; they’ve become partners in health.
  • We advocated for solutions to out-of-control drug prices. We submitted numerous pieces of testimony encouraging Congress and the Administration to address this issue, which hurts millions of American families. In California, we worked with California Association of Health Plans to support the passage of new legislation that will require drug companies to give consumers more information on prescription drug price increases.
  • We shared the best practices and innovation of health plans, from telehealth to mental health, from how we address the opioid crisis to how we impact social determinants of health. We also demonstrated the impact health plans have locally, as you can see in our Health Insurance: State-by-State guide.
  • We strengthened our association. This year, we added 12 new members and strengthened our financial position, as we continue to advocate for insurance providers and the millions of Americans they serve daily.

We will continue to promote changes that empower the industry to improve how we serve Americans. We will also add several exciting new initiatives to enhance health care for consumers. In everything we do, we will find new ways to improve affordability and value, collaborate with government and industry partners, and enhance how people experience their journey of care. We are looking forward to a robust and productive 2018.

Marilyn Tavenner is President and CEO of AHIP.