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Health Plans Offer Comprehensive Reform Proposal
Date:12/3/2008

a bold target of reducing the future growth in health care costs by 30 percent over the next five years. Based on the current projected growth rate of 6.6 percent, this could produce a cumulative savings of more than $500 billion over five years.

To achieve these goals, health plans are proposing that a public-private advisory group be created to provide specific policy recommendations to Congress on reducing health care costs. This new advisory group would include input from a wide variety of stakeholders to provide objective, independent recommendations.

Helping consumers and purchasers: Insurance market rules need to be reformed to help individuals and small businesses access affordable coverage while avoiding duplication of administrative and regulatory responsibilities. These reforms must be coupled with initiatives to provide one-stop access to coverage options and clear, consistent information on quality and cost of care.

Health plans propose that a new portable health plan be available to individuals and small businesses in all states. This affordable "essential benefits plan" would provide coverage for prevention and wellness as well as acute and chronic care. To maintain affordability, the essential benefits plan would not be subject to varying and conflicting state benefit mandates.

The essential benefit plan would also be made available to workers who are going through a job transition or are eligible for COBRA to ensure they are able to maintain health care coverage.

The proposal also calls for protecting low-income individuals and working families from medical bankruptcy by making available tax credits to those who spend a set percentage of their income on out-of-pocket health care expenses, including premiums and cost-sharing.

Achieving universal coverage: By addressing rising costs, reforming i
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SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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