WASHINGTON, DC (June 6, 2017): Today, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded to news of Anthem's planned withdrawal from Ohio's Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange in 2018 - a move expected to leave 20 Ohio counties without a single option for coverage in the Obamacare marketplace. CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:
“Make no mistake, the Affordable Care Act started this nationwide insurer exodus on its own, but the uncertainty in Washington today has made a bad problem worse," said CAHC President Joel White. "We know that the Republican majority inherited an already broken health care law last November, but now it is incumbent on both parties to work together to fix the problem. It is increasingly clear that this will require saving the health care markets in the short term, in order to safeguard opportunities to enact more sustainable, market-based reforms in the long run."
White continued, "We again call on Congress to immediately pass Senator Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker's Health Care Options Act of 2017, which will allow subsidy portability for individuals with no options on the healthcare exchange. We further urge lawmakers to fully fund the healthcare law’s cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments until suitable Obamacare replacement policies are fully implemented. Republicans and Democrats must come together to unwind this failed law responsibly and ensure that consumers have a glide path - not an obstacle course - to a more affordable healthcare system."
While CAHC urges lawmakers to consider Obamacare stabilization measures to protect consumers, the coalition has also continued to meet with Members of Congress to discuss its proposed ACA replacement policies. Specifically, CAHC is calling on Congress to include the following provisions in any ACA replacement bill:
- Relief from EHB Mandates: Rather than allowing states to waive the ACA's essential health benefit (EHB) requirements altogether, 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.
- Subsidy Portability: CAHC supports making subsidies portable, so that qualified individuals could use their subsidy towards the purchase of a private plan off federal and state exchanges
- Reforming CSRs: 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.
About the Council for Affordable Health Coverage
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.