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New Survey: More Employers And Health Insurance Providers Covering Chronic Disease Prevention Services

posted by David Allen

on September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (September 30, 2021) – A new survey conducted by AHIP and the Smarter Health Care Coalition (SHCC) found that most health insurance providers and many large employers have taken advantage of new regulatory flexibility to cover more chronic disease prevention services on a pre-deductible basis.  The survey, which assessed health insurance provider uptake and changes in the benefit design for Health Savings Account (HSA)-eligible high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), also noted that diabetes and heart disease are the two most commonly targeted conditions for reducing or eliminating cost sharing.

“Employers and health insurance providers have long sought greater flexibility to address the impact chronic diseases have on the people and communities they serve,” said Jeanette Thornton, Senior Vice President of Product, Employer, and Commercial Policy at AHIP.  “By expanding the list of preventive care benefits, health insurance providers and employers have more tools to help patients get the high-value, low-cost care they need.”

Among other key findings, survey participants that reduced or eliminated cost sharing for chronic disease prevention drugs and services did not report a significant increase in premiums as a result of those changes.  In fact, most respondents reported that premiums did not change at all or increased by less than 1%.

“Chronic diseases prevention is key to improving the lives and health of millions of Americans,” said Katy Spangler, co-director of the Smarter Health Care Coalition (SHCC).  “The survey results provide us with very encouraging news, but more can be done – specifically, the Coalition urges the Biden-Harris Administration to expand the list of items and services that may be offered pre-deducible to include mental and behavioral health, among other high value chronic disease preventive services.” Spangler also noted, “The Coalition strongly supports S. 1424 and H.R. 3563, the Chronic Disease Management Act, which would allow additional high-value services and drugs to be offered before chronic disease patients meet their deductible.”

Please click here to read and download the survey.

Please click here to read and download slides from the briefing.

About AHIP

AHIP is the national association whose members provide coverage for health care and related services to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. Through these offerings, we improve and protect the health and financial security of consumers, families, businesses, communities and the nation. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that improve affordability, value, access, and well-being for consumers. Visit www.ahip.org for more information.

About the Smarter Health Care Coalition

The Smarter Health Care Coalition represents a broad-based and diverse group of health care innovators, including consumer groups, employers, patient advocacy organizations, health plans and life science companies. Our goal is to leverage our combined perspectives and experiences to achieve smarter health care that improves the patient experience, particularly through integrating benefit design innovations and patient engagement within broader delivery system reform.