FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NAIC Articulates Support for Bipartisan Health Bill
Regulators say bill will help stabilize the health insurance markets
WASHINGTON (Oct. 20, 2017) —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) expressed support today for a bipartisan bill aimed at stabilizing the health insurance market. The NAIC sent a letter to Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, respectively.
"We thank you for including insurance commissioners representing a range of perspectives in the Committee hearings that informed the drafting process and for working together to find solutions that have bipartisan support," read the letter, signed by NAIC officers and CEO Mike Consedine. "Providing reliable federal funding to reimburse health insurance carriers for the Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) program assistance they give to low-income consumers will reduce premium increases, reduce federal government spending, and encourage some carriers to stay in the market. The money helps ensure lower-income Americans have access to affordable care – it is not an insurer bailout. We strongly support your plan to fully fund this program for the remainder of 2017 and through 2019."
The letter acknowledges support for revisions to the Section 1332 waiver process. This provision will reduce administrative obstacles to state waiver requests and provide greater flexibility to states to meet the needs of their consumers and markets.
NAIC officers also committed to coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services on standards for interstate compacts into which states can choose to enter.
"Passage of this legislation would represent an important milestone for this Congress to demonstrate bipartisan leadership on stabilizing insurance markets on which consumers in every state depend, but more can be done," the letter states. "State regulators look forward to working with Congress on further bipartisan reforms that will stabilize the markets, increase consumer choices, reduce premiums and address the biggest challenge: stemming health care cost growth."