To Our Valued Stakeholders,
Wednesday’s release of the Congressional Budget Office score of American Health Care Act reheated the healthcare debate with a projection that 23 million people would lose coverage in 10 years if the measure were to pass in its current form.
As troubling as these projections are, it’s worth remembering the bill is given little chance of passing in the Senate, where work is expected to start soon on new legislation.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) weighed in with a nine-page letter to the Senate this week. The letter outlines a number of areas where federal policy makers could stabilize the individual health insurance market in the short term and in the long term.
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The most pressing market stabilization measure AHIP recommended is continued funding of Cost Share Reduction (CSR) payments. For those who qualify, CSR payments help pay out of pocket expenses. As a recent Commonwealth Fund brief points out, they can make or break the bottom line for health insurance companies.
The effect the potential loss of CSR payments has on health insurance premiums was made clear Thursday in North Carolina, where Blue Cross and Blue Shield filed for an average 22.9 percent rate increase in 2018, saying it would be only 8.8 percent if Congress funded CSRs, according to an article in the News & Observer of Raleigh.
Take care and enjoy your holiday weekend,
Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado