America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is using its annual meeting in Seattle as a chance to try to push the focus of health reform efforts past questions about whether HealthCare.gov is working today. AHIP — a group that has been trying to offer big ideas for shaping health system change ever since it was formed through a merger of two older health insurer groups — is bringing thousands of health insurance company executives, technology company executives, data analysts, marketers and health policy specialists to Seattle this week for the AHIP Institute 2014 meeting.
The meeting is the first annual meeting AHIP has held since major Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) commercial health insurance market rules took effect and the PPACA exchange system jolted to life. Speakers are releasing data on the recent performance of public exchanges, private exchanges, and the health plans created and drastically revised by PPACA.
The state of Minnesota, for example, released data from University of Minnesota researchers who found that the number of Minnesota residents who are uninsured has now fallen to 264,000, down 40 percent from the number of people who lacked coverage Sept. 30, 2013 — before the PPACA exchange system opened for business.
AHIP itself has released a package of proposals with the title “Continuing Our Commitment to Consumers.”
PPACA created five “metal levels” of coverage — platinum plans, gold plans, silver plans, bronze plans, and, for some consumers, low-actuarial-value catastrophic plans that health policy specialists have dubbed “copper plans.” PPACA now prohibits the young consumers and other consumers who are allowed to buy the catastrophic plans from using PPACA premium subsidies to pay for the coverage.