Michael Leavitt told insurance and reinsurance industry participants Wednesday that implementing the Bush fiscal year 2008 budget proposal as is would make the health insurance playing field more fair.
Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, appeared at a Washington member conference organized by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Washington, and the Reinsurance Association of America, Washington.
Leavitt gave conference a review of general Bush administration efforts to strengthen the health insurance market, and he also talked about provisions in the fiscal year 2008 budget proposal that would replace the current group health tax deduction for employers with a new tax break that would go to anyone who had health coverage.
Fiscal year 2008 starts Oct. 1.
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The new tax break would help purchasers of individual coverage get the same tax treatment as purchasers of group coverage, but it would have the effect of limiting deductibility of coverage for employers with the most expensive plans.
Limiting deductions for high-end policies is a way to make the health insurance market more fair for individuals who have to buy their own coverage, Leavitt said, according to a summary of Leavitt’s remarks provided by the CIAB.