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Forty Eight Percent of Survey Respondents Support National Health Insurance Program

August 31, 2018

According to the results of PwC’s Health Research Institute survey on national health plans, 48 percent of respondents support a national health insurance program available to all Americans in which physician practices and hospitals would remain private, while 57 percent support expanding Medicaid eligibility to any US resident.

According to the authors, the results indicate that Americans appear generally in favor of having more people covered by existing health programs.

While Americans continue to name health care as a top concern, according to a Gallup poll, the Trump Administration continues to promote less-costly, less-generous coverage.

A new federal policy significantly extends the amount of time individuals may remain enrolled in short-term health insurance plans from three months to up to three years. The stated intent of the policy is to expand access to less expensive alternative insurance options; however, these plans are not subject to the full patient protections and benefits assured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Discussions around these types of health insurance options that were previously prohibited or limited under the ACA continue to draw mixed reactions from industry experts, consumer advocates, and state and federal officials.

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman sent a letter to the U.S. departments of Labor and Health and Human Services outlining the state Insurance Department’s position on the implementation of a federal rule aiming to expand one of the options, association health plans. In the letter, Commissioner Altman stated, “I remain concerned that this rule will allow for substandard coverage that will limit consumers’ access to comprehensive health care, and I am committed to ensuring that our laws will continue to provide necessary protections to consumers.”

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals embrace the importance of expanding access to meaningful coverage. The ACA has been instrumental in:

  • Supporting more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians through health insurance coverage
  • Providing better access to health care services
  • Dramatically reducing the uninsured population in Pennsylvania

HAP will continue to advocate for policy that advances those outcomes and will work with the state to ensure Pennsylvania consumers are protected.

In an effort to coordinate and maximize open enrollment outreach efforts and reach more individuals, HAP is partnering with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to convene hospitals, community health centers, health care providers, navigators, consumer advocates, insurance companies, and state officials to discuss education and outreach strategies to match individuals with appropriate health care coverage.

If you have any questions relating to this issue, and the impact of coverage, please contact Jeff Bechtel, HAP’s senior vice president, health economics and policy. Questions about HAP’s federal advocacy efforts should be directed to Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal advocacy.

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