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AMA urges quick action to stabilize individual insurance market

April 14, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Health Care Reform 

With the window quickly closing to properly price individual insurance products for 2018, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging President Trump and Congressional leaders to commit to continued funding for the cost-sharing reductions that are critical to stabilizing the individual market.

AMA, along with other groups representing insurers, hospitals, health plan purchasers and physicians, sent a letter urging quick action to deliver short-term stability and affordable coverage while broader marketplace stabilization efforts are developed.

Nearly 60 percent of all individuals who purchase coverage via the exchange receive financial assistance to make health care affordable. These subsidies reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients who might otherwise be unable to afford health care services despite being insured. 

The funding helps those who need it the most access quality care: low- and middle-income consumers earning less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level. If the cost-sharing subsidies are not funded, Americans will be dramatically impacted:

  • Choices for consumers will be more limited, leaving individuals with fewer coverage options.
  • Premiums for 2018 and beyond will go up by at least 15 percent, both on and off the exchange. Higher premium rates could drive out of the market those middle-income individuals who are not eligible for tax credits.
  • If more people are uninsured, providers will experience more uncompensated care, which will further strain their ability to meet the needs of their communities and will raise costs for everyone, including employers who sponsor group health plans for their employees.
  • Hardworking taxpayers will pay more, as premiums grow and tax credits for low-income families increase.

The California Medical Association shares the sentiments of the letter and looks forward to working with Congress and the Trump Administration to take positive actions to stabilize the health care marketplace.

 

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