Yesterday US Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced the Senate Health Committee will hear from state insurance commissioners and governors at two bipartisan hearings in September on stabilizing premiums in the individual insurance market.
“Unless Congress acts by September 27—when insurance companies must sign contracts with the federal government to sell insurance on the federal exchange in 2018— 9 million Americans in the individual market who receive no government help purchasing health insurance and whose premiums have already skyrocketed may see their premiums go up even more,” Sen. Alexander said in a press release. “Even those with subsidies in up to half our states may find themselves with zero options for buying health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges in 2018.”
The hearings are intended to get testimony from state insurance commissioners and governors who are closest to the problem and determine steps Congress can take to help make insurance available at affordable prices.
“Any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package will have to be small, bipartisan and balanced. It should give states more flexibility in approving insurance policies by improving section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act as well as fund the cost-sharing reduction payments to help stabilize premiums for 2018,” Sen. Alexander said.
The first hearing will be held Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m. and will address stabilizing premiums and helping individuals in the individual insurance market for 2018. State insurance commissioners will give testimony at this hearing. The second hearing will be held Thursday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. and will elicit testimony from governors.
Watch your North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Bulletin and website for updates on these important hearings.