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AHIP Letter To U.S. Senate Leaders McConnell And Schumer

posted by AHIP

on July 27, 2017

AHIP has addressed a letter to Senate leaders, calling for short-term stability and longer-term improvements in the individual health insurance market and emphasizing that the deadline is rapidly approaching for insurers to make final decisions about their premiums and participation for 2018.

Our letter states: “The mid-August deadline for finalizing 2018 premiums is rapidly approaching, yet significant uncertainties remain. This continued uncertainty – combined with targeted proposals that would eliminate key elements of current law without new stabilizing solutions – will not solve the problems in the individual market, and in fact will result in higher premiums, fewer choices for consumers, and fewer people covered next year. We would oppose an approach that eliminates the individual coverage requirement, does not offer alternative continuous coverage solutions, and does not include measures to immediately stabilize the individual market.”

We urge Congress to take action now on the following priorities:

  • Consumers’ cost-sharing reduction benefit, which low- and modest-income families depend on to afford their out-of-pocket medical costs, must be appropriately funded, or premiums will rise by about 20 percent.
  • The health insurance tax should be eliminated, so that premiums do not increase by 3 percent, which would cost hundreds of additional dollars per year for millions of Americans beginning in 2018, including seniors and small business owners, as well as states.
  • Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions should be covered and protected, and those protections must be coupled with either the individual coverage requirement or other continuous coverage solutions. Eliminating the individual coverage requirement by itself will likely result in fewer people covered and a deterioration of the risk pool, which will increase premiums.
  • A mechanism to stabilize the exchanges should be established for 2018-2019, to support care for people with serious health conditions and put downward pressure on premiums for everyone.

Read our complete letter by clicking below.