America’s Health Insurance Plans today introduced a major coverage proposal as witnesses convened for a Senate Finance Committee hearing on health care reform.
AHIP, Washington, is starting by proposing that insurers agree to offer coverage to applicants with pre-existing conditions if the government also imposes a well-enforced requirement for individuals to own health coverage.
AHIP also is calling on policymakers to create a refundable, advanceable health insurance tax credit for individuals and working families; give purchasers of individual health coverage the same tax breaks that purchasers of group coverage get; and create a system for spreading the risk involved with insuring individuals with health problems.
AHIP will be making other recommendations concerning issues such as affordability, accessibility and quality of care in the next few weeks, AHIP says.
The new proposal builds on a series of recommendations the group began offering in 2006.
“No one should fall through the cracks of our health care system,” AHIP President Karen Ignagni says in a statement about the recommendations. “Universal coverage is within reach and can be achieved by building on the current system.”
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, also announced its support for universal coverage efforts, endorsing a combination of a guaranteed issue requirement along with a requirement that individuals own health coverage.