Schenectady, NY (PRWEB) June 28, 2012
The Supreme Court’s decision today allowed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remain in place. MVP has been prepared for this decision. All along the company has complied with the ACA and is actively moving forward with the next steps in the health care reform process, including preparing to sell individual market policies through the state health insurance exchanges in 2014.
The Court’s decision on the Medicaid expansion in general will not have an effect in the markets MVP serves—New Hampshire, New York and Vermont—which currently maintain Medicaid eligibility for the most part at thresholds that meet the ACA requirements.
“Now that the ACA has been upheld by the Court, it is time to continue the work of reforming the health care system. This includes addressing America’s real health care problem by introducing legislation to reduce the unsustainable increases in the cost of health care services and products,” said David Oliker, MVP’s President and CEO. “Some of the most promising ways to control costs are to incentivize providers for delivering quality outcomes in a cost efficient way, to promote the use of evidence-based medicine, and to encourage the meaningful use of Health Information Technology/Electronic Medical Records and e-prescribing.”
MVP supports many of the goals of the ACA, such as making sure all Americans have meaningful, affordable health coverage and access to high-quality health care. However, MVP has told policymakers throughout the process that there are parts of the ACA that will not work as designed.
Specifically, these aspects of the ACA should be reconsidered:
o The “Small-Business Health Insurance Tax” (HIT) should be repealed. It is counterproductive to the goals of health care reform as it will significantly increase the cost of health care. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the HIT will impose an $87 billion tax on health insurers from 2014 to 2019. The tax would likely have to be passed on to consumers and is estimated to cost families hundreds of extra dollars a year.
o The ACA also includes new taxes on pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device manufacturers that will raise the cost of health care and health coverage for individuals, families and employers. New taxes, including HIT, will increase premiums by approximately five percent more than current cost trends in 2014 and will similarly increase costs in subsequent years.
o MVP is concerned about the impact of significant funding cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA) health benefit plans included in the ACA and believes MA program funding should be returned to pre-ACA levels. MA programs are working for consumers and the scheduled cuts equate to $145 billion nationally over the next 10 years. These funding cuts will likely force many older adults to face higher premiums and/or reduced benefits, particularly in later years when the funding cuts are fully phased in and have a devastating impact on older Americans around the country, including the more than 100,000 older adults MVP serves.
o The individual mandate is not strong enough to motivate everyone to have health insurance. The goal is not to punish people, but to create a market that works. Experts agree that the key to making premiums more affordable is to create a system in which everyone—young and old, healthy and ill—is effectively motivated to have coverage.
o The timeframe for building the exchanges and getting products approved for sale is very compressed. For consumers to be able to purchase insurance through the exchange in time for coverage to begin January 1, 2014, products would need to be approved and available for sale during the fall open enrollment period of 2013. The concept of this kind of individual market/small business market product comparison tool will help drive transparency and innovation in the industry, but there are a number of significant hurdles to getting it up and running according to the deadlines in the ACA.
“MVP is committed to continuing to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to address the problems of escalating health care costs and finding effective solutions that encourage universal coverage, promote affordability and improve consumers’ access to high-quality care,” Oliker said.
About MVP Health Care
Founded in 1983, MVP Health Care is a community-focused, not-for-profit health insurer serving members in the states of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. Through its operating subsidiaries, MVP Health Care provides fully-insured and self-funded employer health benefits plans, dental insurance and ancillary products, such as flexible-spending accounts, to more than 600,000 members. For more information, visit http://www.mvphealthcare.com.