THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted policy to increase the number of people who obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by making marketplace plans more affordable.
Additional new policy was adopted that opposes the sale of individual and small group policies that do not guarantee pre-existing protection and coverage of essential health benefits.
Recommendations contained in an AMA Council on Medical Service report on improving affordability in the health insurance exchanges include the following: provision of adequate funding for and expansion of outreach efforts to increase awareness of advance premium tax credits; increasing eligibility for premium tax credits (to 500 percent of the federal poverty level); provision of enhanced tax credits to young adults; encouraging state innovation to maximize the number of individuals covered and stabilize health insurance premiums, without impacting existing patient protections; and establishing a permanent federal reinsurance policy. The report cited the need for outreach to increase the number of people insured.
"The AMA knows that insurers are more likely to participate in marketplaces with large and healthy risk pools," AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D., said in a statement. "We need to take steps to ensure that healthy individuals stay enrolled in coverage offered in the ACA marketplaces and are not siphoned off into coverage that does not guarantee critical patient protections, leaving behind a sicker population facing higher premiums in ACA-compliant coverage."