Federal Legislation

 Key Legislative Topics            

COBRA Continuation Coverage Assistance Under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 

 

Value of Agents, Brokers and Consultants

As Congress considers meaningful proposals for national health reform, one key test of public approval for any sustainable and equitable plan will be ensuring continued access to the services of state-licensed agents, brokers and consultants who serve as American consumers' counselors and advocates.

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Containing Health Care Costs

By far, the greatest access barrier to health insurance coverage in America today is cost. Constraining skyrocketing medical costs is the most critical-and vexing-aspect of health care reform. The cost of health care delivery is the key driver in rising health insurance premiums and it is putting the cost of health insurance coverage beyond the reach of many Americans.

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Government-Run Public Plan Option

When crafting comprehensive health reform legislation, Congress needs to avoid creating a government-run public health plan option to be offered as an alternative to, or in competition with, private-market health plan offerings. A government-run public plan could never compete fairly with the private market, nor would it be financially feasible in the long-run. NAHU believes that a far better use of federal efforts and monies would be helping lower income Americans afford the cost of private coverage.

National Connector or Exchange to Purchase Coverage

In 2006, Massachusetts policymakers enacted a far-reaching health reform plan, creating what is known as the Massachusetts health insurance Connector along with other reforms. Now many policymakers, both in Congress and in other states, are exploring whether the Connector concept is an effective means of reducing the number of uninsured Americans.

NAHU believes that we need to carefully consider whether or not a national connector or exchange is necessary in light of proposed market reforms. Further, given the diverse makeup of the United States, we question whether consumers wouldn't be better served with new federal market protections implemented at the state level. If Congress does decide to pursue the idea of an exchange or connector, whether at the national or state level, it is critical that such an entity be structured in such a way that it does not damage or eliminate the traditional private insurance marketplace.

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Market Reforms

Great care needs to be taken when implementing market reforms to prevent cost increases in the existing private market system. No matter how fair a market reform idea might seem on its surface, it's not at all fair if it also prices people out of the marketplace.

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Preserving Private Medicare Choices

Congress needs to ensure that all Americans, including Medicare beneficiaries, have a wide range of health plan choices available to them and that they are able to pick the policies that best suits their individual needs. Congress should not limit the ability of seniors to access any private Medicare coverage option, including Medicare Advantage plans, or the services of licensed professional health insurance producers.

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