A member of the Senate Finance Committee wants to replace the group health insurance system with a new, mandatory individual health insurance system that would be coordinated by state-based “health help agencies.”
Sen. Ronald Wyden, D-Ore., says the bill, the Healthy Americans Act, eventually would require all employers to pay an amount equal to 25% of essential care in their areas.
Employers and insurance agents could still help consumers sign up for coverage, according to Wyden.
But, in most cases, consumers who had incomes over the federal poverty level would be responsible for paying at least part of the cost of individual coverage from private health insurers, Wyden says.
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Insurers would not be allowed to consider existing health problems, occupation, gender, genetic information or age when deciding whether to accept consumers’ applications for coverage or setting coverage prices.
Insurers could offer discounts or other incentives for enrollees who participate in approved wellness programs.
Starting 2 years after the individual health insurance mandate law passed, individuals would be prohibited from using bankruptcy to clear penalties related to failures to pay for health insurance.
Adults who oppose use of conventional medical coverage for religious reasons would be exempted from the coverage purchase requirements.