Members of the Senate Finance Committee might move to further limit the difference between the rates health insurers could charge the oldest insureds and the youngest if health proposals now under consideration are implemented.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., introduced an “age band” amendment Friday, as the Finance Committee continued “marking up,” or revising, the “chairman’s mark” of the America’s Healthy Future Act bill.
That bill and a health bill developed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee are the 2 major Senate health reform bills still in play.
The Finance Committee already has narrowed the proposed AHFA bill age band — the ratio between the rates charged the oldest and youngest insureds — to 4 to 1 this week, from the ratio of 5 to 1 recommended when Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., unveiled a summary version of the bill.
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Kerry noted that the HELP bill would set the age band at 2 to 1.
“True health reform ought to end the discrimination based on age and health once and for all,” Kerry said at the markup. He suggested that reinsurance provisions and other risk adjustment provisions in the current version of the AHFA bill should eliminate the need for big difference between the rates older and younger insureds pay.
Yvette, Fontenot, a committee staffer, noted that the majority of states have no limits on age bands today, and lawmakers talked about states in which the premiums for the oldest insureds are 28 times higher than the premiums the youngest insureds pay.