Policy Changes Republicans and Democrats Can Make to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to Make Health Care More Affordable

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell stated on July 6, 2017 that he was in favor of bipartisan talks to improve health care affordability if the Better Care Reconciliation Act did not garner enough Republican votes to pass by the August recess. Here are some terrific ideas to make the ACA more affordable and to stabilize individual health insurance marketplaces- please see links for more information:

1. Extend the risk corridor program for health insurance on the federal marketplace exchanges.

2. Provide new options for states to fund reinsurance to cover individuals with chronic conditions.

3. Automatic enrollment of all U.S. citizens in a bronze-level federal marketplace plan. Individuals would be given the opportunity to “opt-out” if they chose.

4. Add family coverage to the calculation of total percentage of income toward health insurance to determine if individuals are eligible for federal marketplace plans.

5. Allow individuals to purchase Federal Employee Health Benefits coverage on marketplace exchanges.

6. Retention of the ACA’s taxes for Medicare on unearned (investment) income and Medicare payroll taxes on high income earners ($250,000+) in order to ensure the stability of the Medicare program.

7. Retain the ACA’s Hospital Insurance tax.

8. Retention of Medicaid expansion benefits and provide flexibility on Medicaid expansion for states that have not chosen to expand Medicaid through the 1115 waiver program.

9. Continuing funding for discounts on Cost Sharing Reductions (CSR) on out of pocket costs (deductibles and co-payments) for low income (100–250% of the poverty level) individuals who have purchased silver plans on federal marketplace exchange.

10. Several incentives could be added to make marketplace participation more favorable to health insurers including: removing ACA health insurance taxes for insurers in marketplace exchange areas with only one insurer and tying requirements for Medicare Advantage and Medicaid Managed Care contracts to participation in marketplace exchanges.

11. �Allow individuals 55 years or older to buy into the Medicare program.

12. Health Savings Accounts to pay for health insurance premiums.

Originally published at sterrettinc.com.