AHIP President Advocates for Lower Tier of PPACA Health Plans

Federal officials should create a new coverage tier offering fewer benefits than the current metal tiers available through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges, Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, has told C-SPAN.

Consumers purchasing coverage through the exchanges can select health plans from four tiers (bronze, silver, gold and platinum), each representing a different level of benefits and cost sharing. However, at a minimum, plans in each of those tiers must offer certain essential health benefits, such as coverage for pediatric services, prescription drugs and laboratory services. For those younger than 30 and others who qualify through financial hardship, there is also a catastrophic coverage option available under the PPACA.

Ms. Ignagni suggested the Obama administration could persuade a greater number of healthy Americans to enroll in exchange plans by offering a "lower tier" of coverage, offering fewer benefits and cheaper premiums that fall between the bronze-level plans and catastrophic coverage.

Enrolling more healthy people would help stabilize the PPACA marketplaces. Reports from healthcare business advisory company Avalere Health and The Commonwealth Fund have concluded enrolling healthier, lower-risk people to balance out sicker consumers is crucial to the success of the exchanges.

More Articles on Health Insurance Coverage:
CMS Finalizes Certification Requirements for Qualified Health Plans  
HHS Extends Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan
PPACA Enrollment Reaches 5M 

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