America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for U.S. health insurers and health maintenance organization, released a set of legislative proposals intended to expand health benefits to all Americans. According to AHIP’s press release,
The AHIP plan calls for enactment of federal legislation that provides significant financial incentives to states and makes changes to federal tax policy to make health coverage more affordable.Key elements of the AHIP plan include:
- Expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to make eligible all uninsured children from families with incomes under 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
- Improving and expanding Medicaid to make eligible all uninsured adults, including single adults, with incomes under 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Line.
- Establishing a Universal Health Account (UHA) to allow all individuals to purchase any type of health care coverage and pay for qualified medical expenses with pre-tax dollars, with federal matching grants for contributions made by working families to the UHA.
- Establishing a health tax credit of up to $500 for low-income families who secure health insurance for their children.
- Establishing a new $50-billion Federal Performance Grant to assist states in expanding access to coverage.
The plan is designed to expand access to health insurance coverage to all children within three years and 95 percent of adults within 10 years. AHIP estimates that full implementation of this proposal would cost the federal government approximately $300 billion over a 10-year period.
AHIP also conducted an opinion survey whose results supports its proposed solution.