Hill Briefing: 1332 Reasons for Reform - What States are Doing to Strengthen Markets for Consumers
Sep
19
10:00 AM10:00

Hill Briefing: 1332 Reasons for Reform - What States are Doing to Strengthen Markets for Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC: The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – will hold a Congressional briefing on Tuesday, September 19th at 10 AM entitled "1332 Reasons for Reform: An Explainer on ACA Waivers and What States are Doing to Strengthen Markets for Consumers." 

From the Problem Solvers Caucus’ market stabilization proposal, to the Kasich-Hickenlooper plan, to the Senate HELP Committee’s efforts led by Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Democrats and Republicans alike are rallying around reforms to the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332 waiver program as a possible bipartisan path forward on health care.

This briefing will examine the mechanics of Section 1332 waivers and proposed reforms to spur state innovation while improving markets for consumers.

WHAT: CAHC Congressional briefing: "1332 Reasons for Reform: An Explainer on ACA Waivers and What States are Doing to Strengthen Markets for Consumers" 
WHEN: Tuesday, September 19th, 10 AM ET
WHERE: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building
MEDIA: Open press
RSVP: Jonathan.Frank@cahc.net 

SPEAKERS:

  • Joel White, Council for Affordable Health Coverage 

  • Brian Webb, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

  • Kris Haltmeyer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Refreshments will be served. This is a widely attended event and complies with all ethics rules. 

MATERIALS SHARED AT THE BRIEFING: 


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Background:
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage. 

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Hill Briefing: Health Insurance Markets - What is Happening and How Can Congress Fix It?
Jun
22
10:00 AM10:00

Hill Briefing: Health Insurance Markets - What is Happening and How Can Congress Fix It?

WASHINGTON, DC: The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – will hold a Congressional briefing on Thursday, June 22nd, at 10 AM entitled, "Health Insurance Markets: What is Happening and How Can Congress Fix it?"

The briefing, held one day after the rate filing deadline for 2018 plans, will include an analysis of the filed rates, a discussion of the current stability of the individual health insurance market, and reforms that will improve access to affordable coverage options.

WHAT: CAHC Congressional briefing on health insurance markets
WHEN: Thursday, June 22nd, at 10 AM ET
WHERE: 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building
MEDIA: Open press
RSVP: Nina.Andrews@cahc.net

SPEAKERS:

  • Katie Mahoney, Executive Director, Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Brian Webb, Assistant Director, Health Policy and Legislation, National Association of Insurance Commissioners
  • Jeff Lemieux, Chief Economist, Council for Affordable Health Coverage
  • Sean Malia, Senior Director, Carrier Relations, eHealthInsurance
  • Joel White, President, Council for Affordable Health Coverage - Moderator


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Background:
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage's membership includes insurers, drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, large employer groups, and other diverse stakeholders. In recent weeks, the advocacy group has met with Senate offices to discuss policies including: 

Market Stabilization: CAHC supports continued funding of the ACA's cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to mitigate market uncertainty while lawmakers work to advance a more comprehensive ACA replacement plan. Further, CAHC advocates for more robust upfront funding in Republicans' ACA replacement legislation to prevent the premium spike expected in the short term under the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act. Finally, CAHC advocates for subsidy portability for individuals with no options in the current Obamacare marketplace and, to that end, urges passage of Senator Alexander and Corker's Health Care Options Act of 2017. 

A New Approach to EHB Mandates: Rather than allowing states to waive the ACA's essential health benefit (EHB) requirements altogether, as the House-passed American Health Care Act would do, CAHC proposes requiring all insurers who want to accept premium subsidies to offer at least one product that meets EHB standards. If they do so, insurers can then offer additional plans that waive these requirements. This plan would put all individuals in a unified insurance pool to spread risk and keep premiums low. 
 
Consumer-Driven Solutions for Lower Income Americans: CAHC supports reforms to ease uncertainty in the marketplace by providing health cost sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies directly to eligible individuals in a tax preferred account – much like a Health Savings Account. Consumers could use these accounts to cover both out of pocket costs and monthly premiums.

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Feb
16
10:00 AM10:00

Hill Briefing: 2017 ACA Repeal & Replace- Subsidy Portability

Congressional Staff Briefing

2017 ACA Repeal and Replace: Subsidy Portability

Empowering Consumers and Expanding Choice

Thursday, February 16, 2017

10:00 a.m., Russell-188

The ACA provides premium subsidies to help individuals afford health insurance coverage. However, the law only allows consumers to use their subsidies to purchase plans sold on publicly run exchanges, and it limits the private sector in their ability to help consumers enroll in plans.

Total reliance on public exchanges has proven insufficient. Enrollment is lower than expected and consumers are facing fewer options and higher costs. CAHC supports efforts to reverse these trends by stabilizing markets, encouraging competition and innovation, and expanding choices for consumers.

At the briefing, we will present information on the current market and discuss an approach that leverages innovation in the private sector to increase choices for consumers and boost enrollment in 2018 and beyond.

DATE: Thursday, February 16, 2017
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Russell-188

SPEAKERS & POWERPOINTS

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Jan
27
9:30 AM09:30

Hill Briefing: 2017 ACA Repeal & Replace- Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Congressional Staff Briefing

2017 ACA Repeal and Replace: Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Why Repeal and Replace Must Be Paired with Short-Term Market Stabilization

 

The ACA made massive changes to health markets – some positive and some negative.

  • It created new consumer protections, corrected market imbalances, and reduced the number of uninsured Americans to historic lows.
  • Yet, overreach by the ACA has also contributed to high and growing health insurance premiums, marked by average double digit price increases on exchange plans both in 2016 and 2017.
  • Plan choice and competition have declined. CMS data shows that insurers’ losses eclipsed gains and 65 fewer issuers are available to consumers in HealthCare.gov states for 2017.
  • ACA’s risk pools are seriously unbalanced. Total ACA exchange enrollment is projected to be 10 million at the end of 2016, or slightly less than half of the 21 million originally estimated by CBO. Enrollees have turned out to be sicker and older than expected.

The result has been an unstable and expensive market that is driving away many of the healthy consumers the exchanges need to attract to hold coverage costs down over the long term.

CAHC supports efforts to stabilize markets, encourage competition through robust plan participation, and expand choices for consumers. To do so, repeal and replace must be paired with short-term market stabilization policies. This briefing will provide background on the Budget Reconciliation process, an explanation of why short-term market stabilization is needed, and recommendations on top policy priorities we believe should be included in a repeal bill or as part of regulatory policy early this year.

 

DATE: Thursday, January 12, 2016
TIME: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
LOCATION: Rayburn 2020

 

SPEAKERS

  • Stan Collender, Executive Vice President and Budgetary Expert, QORVIS MSLGROUP
  • Jeff Smedsrud, Co-Founder, HealthCare.com and Founder, the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
  • Katrina Velasquez, Policy Director, Eating Disorders Coalition
  • Katie Vlietstra, Vice President for Government Relations, National Association of the Self Employed
  • ModeratorJoel White, President, Council for Affordable Health Coverage
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Jul
12
11:00 AM11:00

CAHC President Testifies to Ways and Means Committee

The House Committee on Ways and Means held a full committee hearing on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, to discuss rising health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Witness List

  • Joel White, President, CAHC
  • Christopher Condeluci, Principal, CC Law & Policy PLLC
  • Tom Harte, President, Landmark Benefits, NH
  • Peter Lee, Executive Director, Covered California

News


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Jun
29
11:00 AM11:00

Congressional Staff Briefing, 2017 Health Insurance Premiums: Rising Rates on ACA’s Exchanges

Initial reports from states that have released premium data suggest that rates for many insurance plans are expected to increase significantly next year, much higher than prior increases in 2015 and 2016.

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) held a briefing on proposed 2017 health plan premiums on the ACA’s insurance exchanges. The briefing provided background on insurance exchange rate filings, an explanation of why premiums are increasing, key factors to keep in mind when examining proposed premiums for next year, and recommended policy considerations to hold down premium rate increases.

Panelists:

  • Brian Webb, Manager, Health Policy, National Association of Insurance Commissioners
  • Rebecca Kirch, Executive Vice President for Healthcare Quality and Value, National Patient Advocate Foundation
  • Christine Scullion, Director, Human Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Joel White, President, Council for Affordable Health Coverage
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Nov
4
11:00 AM11:00

Next Generation Health Insurance Exchanges: Key Challenges & Next Steps

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) hosted a briefing on health insurance exchanges. Public health insurance exchanges are online, health insurance marketplaces set up by the U.S. federal government, and by certain states, where individuals and small businesses can shop for, compare, and purchase private health insurance.

Although the consumer experience shopping for health insurance on the public exchanges was supposed to be akin to using Kayak or Amazon.com, many consumers faced massive problems, including technical challenges, with eligibility and enrollment at their launch. Taxpayers have footed the bill for websites that have been available in the private sector for decades.

The CAHC briefing explored key challenges and limitations of existing exchanges, and new policy approaches to let the private sector take on some of the exchange functions currently exclusively provided by federal and state governments.

Panelists:

  • John Desser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, eHealth
  • Allen Gutierrez, National Executive Director, The Latino Coalition
  • Jeff Smedsrud, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Healthcare.com, Inc.
  • Katie Vlietstra, Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, National Association for the Self-Employed
  • Joel White, President, Council for Affordable Health Coverage
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Jun
2
11:00 AM11:00

Event: King v. Burwell Hill Briefing: An Overview of the ACA Supreme Court Challenge

Prior to the Supreme Court decision, CAHC hosted a Congressional briefing to review the King v. Burwellcase and to offer a policy alternative if the Supreme Court struck down parts of the ACA. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) presented and discussed their policy proposals to address the potential issues caused by a ruling in favor of King. Tamara Killion and Tom Haynes reviewed the Supreme Court case.

Panelists

  • Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)
  • Tamara Killio, Groom Law Group
  • Tom Haynes, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Materials

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Apr
9
10:00 AM10:00

A Briefing on Health Care Transparency: How to Move from Muddy Waters to Clear Choices (CAHC’s launch of the Clear Choices Campaign)

It’s harder than ever for consumers to navigate the healthcare marketplace.

  • The Affordable Care Act requires consumers to buy health insurance or pay a fine. But its own health insurance exchanges don’t provide enough information for consumers to make informed choices. It’s nearly impossible to figure out whether a health plan covers a certain prescription drug or a particular doctor.
  • Waste accounts for one-third of all healthcare spending. Eliminating that waste could save consumers more than $1 trillion.
  • Medicare is holding hostage troves of data that could help us determine which procedures work best for different patients — and which don’t. Freeing that data could empower us to save trillions and improve care.

On April 9, 2015, CAHC launched“Clear Choices,” a new consumer-industry coalition dedicated to making health markets more transparent, accountable, and consumer-friendly.

Speakers:

  • Joel White, Council for Affordable Health Coverage
  • Andrew Scholnick, AARP
  • Chris Riedl, Aetna
  • Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League
  • Steve Noyes, Novo Nordisk
  • Heather Ashby, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

Materials

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Jun
19
11:00 AM11:00

CAHC Awards 2014 Affordability Champion Honors to Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA)

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2014 – The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is pleased to announce that Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) will jointly receive CAHC’s first annual Affordability Champion Award for their bipartisan leadership in repealing the small group deductible cap, a provision of the Affordable Care Act. The Award honors members of Congress for holding down health costs through bipartisan, commonsense solutions.

Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA)

The repeal was included in H.R. 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (P.L. 113-93), which became law on April 2, 2014. The Act codifies an administrative determination by the Obama administration that implementation of the small group cap was impracticable.

Joel White, President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, made the following statement in the historic Ways and Means Committee Library:

“We commend Congressmen Reed and Thompson for breaking partisan taboos to tackle a dysfunctional aspect of the ACA that, if implemented, would have driven up premiums and harmed millions of small businesses and workers. Achieving this reform seven months before the mid-terms was, politically, a steep hill to climb, but thanks to Congressmen Reed and Thompson, bipartisanship and common sense prevailed.”

The Affordable Care Act capped the maximum deductible for small group health plans at $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families. This limit applied only to employers with fewer than 50 workers, however; policies issued to large employers and individuals were unaffected. This year, only about a third of small employers chose plans with deductibles lower than the ACA’s caps. An analysis prepared for CAHC by Avalere, an economic consultancy, found that at least 27 percent of covered workers would have seen their premiums rise as a result of the cap.

White added, “Americans know from hard experience that in health care there is no such thing as a free lunch. If you mandate lower deductibles, premiums will rise. Lifting the law’s discriminatory small employer deductible caps is a modest, but important step to spare small businesses and their employees unnecessary plan disruptions and premium hikes.”

The new law protects against erosion in employer sponsored coverage and save taxpayers money. Avalere estimated that repeal of the caps would translate into 56,000 fewer workers receiving government subsidies on the ACA’s exchanges, saving taxpayers $1.2 billion over ten years.

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage is a broad-based association of organizations representing consumers, physicians, small businesses, large employers, manufacturers and retailers, franchises, insurers, brokers and agents dedicated to the principle that health coverage should be affordable for all Americans.

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