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AMA Backs LTC Tax Incentives, HSAs

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NU Online News Service, Dec. 8, 2004, 5:12 p.m. EST

U.S. doctors might give the insurance industry some support on long term care finance issues.[@@]

The American Medical Association, Chicago, included LTC planning on a list of policies it adopted Tuesday at a policymaking meeting in Atlanta.

The AMA is calling on insurance regulators to “require all private insurers to make available the fee schedules used to determine payment for medical services.” Today, “most health insurance companies refuse to make their list of medical fees available, keeping patients and physicians in the dark about the cost of health care services,” the AMA complains.

But the AMA approved a moderate position on reducing the ranks of the uninsured. The group is calling for enactment of federal legislation to authorize and fund state-based demonstration projects. The projects might include use of income-related tax credits, the AMA says.

The AMA also came out in support of the position of private insurers that LTC costs may overwhelm Medicare, Medicaid and other public health programs.

The AMA is calling for “legislation to provide tax incentives to encourage individuals to save for their long-term care.”

The AMA also will encourage insurers to “develop innovative products and encourage the American public to consider health savings accounts,” the AMA says.