A coalition led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Hospital Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and comprising nearly 30 other organizations, sent a letter to Congress urging swift action to protect Americans’ healthcare coverage in its response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Stable health insurance coverage is essential to providing American families with the security they need, particularly as the nation comes together to overcome this global health crisis, and no one should hesitate to seek testing or treatment for COVID-19 due to concerns about costs, the coalition urges.
“As Americans continue to be impacted by the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, the possibility of losing their health coverage should not have to be a concern,” said Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “There are many items that we’d like to see Congress focus on in future legislation, and maintaining health benefits and increasing coverage options need to be top priorities in order to continue supporting individuals, families and employers. Our letter outlines several important legislative proposals that Congress should advance to ensure the American people have access to affordable health coverage.”
“Nothing is more important than your health,” said Rick Pollack, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “In these uncertain times, coverage can give you, your friends and family peace of mind. And this is critical as we seek to flatten the curve, fight this deadly virus and put America back to work.”
“In these critical and uncertain times, we know that the private sector and government working together can help overcome this crisis,” said Matt Eyles, President and CEO of AHIP. “Health insurance providers are taking decisive actions to ensure that the tens of millions of Americans we cover have the best possible access to care. But those actions do not help American families if they lose their coverage.”
The coalition urges Congress to swiftly pass legislation that:
- Provides employers with temporary subsidies to preserve current health benefits.
- Covers the cost of coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
- Expands use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
- Opens a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for health insurance marketplaces.
- Increases eligibility and federal financial assistance subsidies to buy coverage in the health insurance marketplaces.
Together, these actions will support and strengthen access to coverage and care for American families, help stabilize businesses, and supply America’s health care providers on the front line with critical resources as they continue their heroic work fighting the pandemic, the coalition asserts.
Congress has taken important actions to support Americans through this crisis, but swift actions are needed to ensure continuity of coverage and the stability of our healthcare system as we continue to fight this virus and reopen our economy, the coalition notes, adding that America’s healthcare and business leaders are committed to working with state, federal, and local officials in every way possible.