HLC Joins Employer, Healthcare Organizations Calling for Congressional Action to Protect Private Health Coverage During COVID-19
WASHINGTON – The Healthcare Leadership Council, comprised of health industry leaders from all health sectors, has joined multiple employer and healthcare organizations in calling upon Congress to take steps to maintain private health insurance coverage for the millions of Americans losing jobs and health insurance protection due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter to the Senate and House bipartisan leadership says, in part, “Millions of individuals will join the ranks of the uninsured unless you act. Loss of health care coverage will create additional financial and emotional stress on individuals and families, reduce resources available to the healthcare system at a time when providers must increase capacity to address the COVID-19 surge, and will stymie public health interventions that require routine engagement between individuals and the health care system. Employers need more support – and workers need to be able to continue their stable, secure coverage.”
The policy measures advocated by the organizations include:
- Providing employers with temporary subsidies to enable them to preserve health benefits.
- Covering the cost of COBRA coverage for those who have lost jobs. Congress, the groups said, could offset the full cost of COBRA coverage to former employees through a direct subsidy.
- Temporarily removing limitations on the use of health savings accounts so that they can be used to help pay health coverage premiums.
- Creating a one-time, special enrollment period for health insurance marketplaces.
- Increasing eligibility temporarily for federal subsidies in the health insurance marketplace to make premiums more affordable.
HLC president Mary R. Grealy said, “When uninsured rates rise, it means millions of individuals and families risk losing their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Lawmakers need to treat this like the emergency it is and protect the linkage between households and the private health coverage they need. As the resources of our healthcare system are being taxed at unimaginable levels and Americans have an acute need for healthcare access during this pandemic, maintaining health insurance coverage for our population has to be an urgent priority.”
April 28, 2020
Contact: Kelly Fernandez 202-449-3452
The Healthcare Leadership Council is a coalition of chief executives of the nation’s leading health care companies and organizations. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthInFocus