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New report on health reform implementation: How to ensure access to coverage is maintained
Date:5/18/2011

NEW REPORT ON HEALTH REFORM IMPLEMENTATION RECOMMENDS WAYS TO ENSURE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE INSURANCE IS MAINTAINED THROUGH JOB AND INCOME CHANGES

Full-Year Coverage, Combined Small Business and Individual Health Insurance Exchanges Could Reduce Administrative Burdens and Prevent Coverage Gaps

New York, NY, May 19, 2011Modifications to current policies could help ensure that health insurance coverage and subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act remain stable even through major life changes, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report released today. At least 34 million people will gain new coverage under the law, and the report's authors say that it will be important to ensure that life changes like fluctuations in income and job transitions don't cause abrupt changes in people's health insurance coverage or financial responsibilities for their premiums or care. Uncertainty about how life changes could affect their health insurance and premium costs might lead people to delay signing up for coverage through the exchanges and Medicaid, and could cause people who have received premium subsidies to have to pay money back if their incomes are higher than expected.

"The Affordable Care Act will ensure universal access to affordable coverage and provide a single point of entry for people to qualify for help in paying for health insurance," said lead author Pamela Farley Short, a professor at Penn State University's Department of Health Policy and Administration. "To minimize gaps and churning in health insurance, however, it will be critical that federal and state policymakers implementing the law make sure that it is simple for people to sign up for, pay for, and keep their coverage when their lives change. This will also help reduce administrative costs to federal and state governments."

According to the report, Realizing Health Reform's Potential: Maintaining Coverage, Affordability, and Shared Responsibility When Inco
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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