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National Health Care Coalition Outlines Strategy for Universal Coverage

February 16, 2021

Last week, the American Hospital Association and a coalition of leading organizations representing the nation’s physicians, insurance companies, and employers outlined their vision to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ensure coverage for all.

As the nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, patients across the country need access to affordable health insurance coverage, the coalition said in a joint statement.

“While we sometimes disagree on important issues in health care, we are in total agreement that Americans deserve a stable health care market that provides access to high-quality care and affordable coverage for all,” the coalition said in a letter. “Achieving universal coverage is particularly critical as we strive to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and work to address long-standing inequities in health care access and disparities in health outcomes.”

The coalition seeks to create broadly applicable solutions that improve access and outcomes for patients with all types of insurance. In its letter, the coalition highlighted six key principles to make coverage more available and affordable:

  • Tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to help more people afford coverage
  • An Insurance Affordability Fund to support any unexpected high costs or to otherwise lower premiums and cost-sharing for enrollees
  • Automatic and facilitated enrollment for people eligible for Medicaid and premium-free marketplace plans, while facilitating enrollment for the remaining uninsured
  • Federal funding for navigator, outreach, and enrollment programs
  • Incentives to encourage states that have not yet expanded their Medicaid programs to do so
  • Additional support for people who have lost or are at risk of losing coverage through subsidies for COBRA, special enrollment periods, and other avenues

Coverage provided and benefits protected under the ACA will continue to be an important area of discussion in Congress. Last month, the Biden Administration issued an executive order calling on federal agencies to review recent actions related to the ACA—with a particular focus on protecting people with pre-existing conditions, improving access to care, and stabilizing the overall health insurance marketplace.

HAP supports efforts from the national health care coalition to strengthen the ACA and ensure all Americans have access to quality health care through their employer coverage, individual marketplace plans, or public programs. In addition to providing high-quality care, Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems are dedicated to helping everyone who qualifies for coverage get access to it.

For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s senior vice president, strategic integration or Jolene Calla, Esq., HAP vice president, health care finance and insurance.