Anthem: Senate health care bill will stabilize market, moderate costs

By Health Care FOXBusiness

The office building of health insurer Anthem is seen in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2016)

In a vote of confidence for the Senate’s health care bill Monday, one of the United States’ largest health insurance companies endorsed the legislation, citing the positive impact it would have on the individual market and premium costs.

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“We believe the Senate discussion draft will markedly improve the stability of the individual market and moderate premium increases through substantial stability funding, appropriating cost sharing reduction funds, aligning premium subsidies with premium costs, and eliminating the health insurance tax,” the company said in a statement.

The Senate health care bill, among other things, continues funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs), or reimbursement for discounted care provided to low-income individuals. In a direct effort to stabilize the insurance market, the bill also proposes providing $15 billion per year in 2018 and 2019 and then another $10 billion per year through 2021 to offset rising costs.

While the Senate's bill has been criticized over its proposal to slow the expansion of Medicaid, Anthem indicated Monday that was an issue it would be willing to work with the administration on.

“We are committed to working with our government partners now and into the future to navigate the challenges the current bill proposes to the Medicaid program knowing how important it is to achieve the necessary funding and access to healthcare services and supports are for the individuals and families who rely on them to live healthy meaningful lives in their communities,” the company said.

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Anthem has already announced plans to withdraw from the ObamaCare exchanges in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin next year. One piece of the bill the insurer did not mention is the proposal to eliminate the individual and employer mandates, which could potentially remove more Americans from the insurance market.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bill could be up for a vote in the chamber as early as this week.

 

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