AMA updates stance on high deductibles, covering uninsured

Expanding health insurance coverage to uninsured Americans and improving the design of high-deductible health plans are initiatives that the American Medical Association supports, the organization's house of delegates said.

The AMA's position on these issues was updated during a special meeting of its delegates Nov. 17.

For covering uninsured Americans, the AMA said it supports auto-enrollment for individuals who are eligible for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and zero-premium ACA marketplace coverage. The AMA said it recognizes that a public option, which is part of President-elect Joe Biden's healthcare plan, could provide patients with more choice, but "should not be seen as a panacea to cover the uninsured" or replace private insurance.

The AMA also said employers, payers and providers should address the growing financial and clinical barriers associated with high-deductible health plans. The delegates encouraged employers to talk with employees about their benefit needs and help enrollees spread high out-of-pocket costs across a plan year.

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