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Congressional Health Care Reform Proposals Would Make Health Care More Expensive, Reduce Benefits for Louisianians
Date:11/20/2009

BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Louisiana Association of Health Plans (LAHP) today warned that Louisianians could experience higher health care premiums and reduced benefits if proposals being considered by Congress should become law.

According to Gil Dupre, chief executive officer for LAHP, "Louisiana health plans have supported comprehensive health care reform since the beginning of the national debate. Our plans have offered significant changes that include creating greater access to coverage by dropping the use of pre-existing condition provisions."

Dupre also commented that the problem with the current proposals in Congress is that they don't address the most significant problem in health care -- cost.

"Unfortunately, the proposals being considered by Congress would not make health care more affordable for working families and individuals in Louisiana; in fact, provisions in those bills would add to the cost of care and coverage," Dupre said.

If the reforms proposed by U.S. Senate leadership this week should be enacted, premiums in Louisiana could increase 49 percent in the individual market and 28 percent in the small group market (over ten years), according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Oliver Wyman and America's Health Insurance Plans. According to Dupre, the reason for these projected increases is that "current legislation relies on tax increases and benefits cuts rather than ways to reduce health care costs."

Congress is considering billions of dollars in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. If approved, beneficiaries could see their health coverage change dramatically in the form of fewer benefits, higher premiums, and more out-of-pocket costs. In some instances, such plan options could be eliminated altogether.

More than 150,000 Louisiana seniors choose to get their benefits from the Me
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SOURCE Louisiana Association of Health Plans
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