ADVISORY: CAHC to Hold Congressional Briefing Thursday on State of Health Insurance Markets

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.