August 3, 2020 | Updates

Americans Have Access to Quality Coverage Options; Let’s Strengthen Them, Not Start Over

WASHINGTON – As America’s health care leaders are working together, millions of Americans have access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care through existing private plans and public programs.  Let’s build on and improve what’s working where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together instead of starting over with a one-size-fits-all system that would force Americans to pay more for worse care. 

The Current Health Care System Is Providing Access To Care For Millions Of Americans Through Existing Coverage Options 

While millions of Americans face unemployment and the loss of their employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), the current health care system is responding and providing a safety net for those who need access to health care coverage through the  marketplaces.  In fact, 79 percent of Americans who are newly uninsured are eligible for publicly-subsidized coverage.

  • Monthly premiums for coverage on the state-based marketplaces were down three percent during this year’s enrollment period compared to 2019. (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, 4/1/20)
  • At least 8.4 million Americans are eligible for marketplace subsidies this year and that number will increase to 12.4 million by 2021. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 5/13/20)
  • The state-based marketplaces will be an important safety net for newly unemployed Americans. (Axios, 4/15/20)
  • Of the 27 million Americans estimated to lose their ESI following job loss, 19 million are estimated to maintain coverage through the employer of a working spouse or parent. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 5/13/20)
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March, nearly 162,000 people have enrolled in health care coverage through the state-based marketplaces in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (The Commonwealth Fund, 5/19/20)
  • 11 states and Washington, D.C. are offering Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) to ensure access to health care coverage. (The Commonwealth Fund, 5/19/20)
  • While not all Americans are residents of a state that offered a SEP, allows for enrollment outside of the annual-open period, which is triggered by the loss of minimum essential coverage. (The Commonwealth Fund, 5/19/20)

While Marketplaces Provide Americans With Access To Affordable Plans, Programs Such As Medicaid And The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Are Also Helping American Families Maintain Coverage

  • 12.7 million Americans are eligible for Medicaid, and that number will grow to 17 million by 2021. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 5/13/20)
  • Health Management Associates estimates Medicaid enrollment could increase by 5 to 18 million Americans by the end of 2020, depending on the economy. (Health Management Associates, 5/19/20)
  • Nearly 7 million children whose parents lose their insurance through their employer will be eligible for coverage through Medicaid or CHIP. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 5/13/20)

Polling Shows Support For Building On What’s Working in Health Care  

The vast majority of Americans with employer provided coverage are satisfiedWe shouldn’t permanently eliminate or jeopardize the health care millions of Americans rely on and are happy with when there are options to cover those who lose their employer provided coverage due to the COVID-19 crisis. (Gallup, 12/9/20)

  • Medicare for All would force every American into a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system controlled by politicians. (S.1129, 4/10/19)
  • The public option could eliminate consumer choice for millions of Americans and “eventually cause the elimination of all private plans in the individual market.” (FTI Consulting, 11/18/19)

Our nation’s health care leaders and private businesses are committed to building on what’s working in health care to expand access, improve quality, strengthen employer-provided coverage, protect the most vulnerable and preserve patient choice and control. (POLITICO, 3/20/20; Reuters, 3/2/20; STAT News, 3/3/20; AHIP, 3/31/20)


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