4 12 17 joint csr letter to congress 04 12 2017


April 12, 2017


This joint letter was sent to Congressional leadership on April 12, 2017 regarding cost sharing reductions (CSRs) as the reform debate continues on health care legislation.

April 12, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker, Majority Leader McConnell, Madam Leader, and Minority Leader Schumer:

As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we share many core principles and common priorities. We believe that every American deserves affordable coverage and high-quality care. We stand ready to work with all members of Congress and the Administration to keep this commitment.

A critical priority is to stabilize the individual health insurance market. The window is quickly closing to properly price individual insurance products for 2018.

The most critical action to help stabilize the individual market for 2017 and 2018 is to remove uncertainty about continued funding for cost sharing reductions (CSR). Nearly 60 percent of all individuals who purchase coverage via the marketplace – 7 million people – receive assistance to reduce deductibles, co-payments, and/or out-of-pocket limits through CSR payments. This funding helps those who need it the most to access quality care: low- and modest-income consumers earning less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level. If CSRs are not funded, Americans will be dramatically impacted:

• Choices for consumers will be more limited. If reliable funding for the CSRs is not provided it may impact plan participation which would leave individuals without coverage options.

• Premiums for 2018 and beyond will be higher. Analysts estimate that loss of CSR funding alone would increase premiums for all consumers – both on and off the exchange – by at least 15 percent. Higher premium rates could drive out of the market those middle-income individuals who are not eligible for tax credits.

• If more people are uninsured, providers will experience more uncompensated care which will further strain their ability to meet the needs of their communities and will raise costs for everyone, including employers who sponsor group health plans for their employees.

• Hardworking taxpayers will pay more, as premiums grow and tax credits for low-income families increase, than if the CSRs are funded.

We urge Congress and the Administration to take quick action to ensure CSRs are funded. We are committed to working with you to deliver the short-term stability we all want and the affordable coverage and high-quality care that every American deserves. But time is short and action is needed. By working together, we can create effective, market-based solutions that best serve the American people.


4 12 17 joint csr letter to congress 04 12 2017