WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 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’ health care 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.
“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.
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 health care system as we continue to fight this virus and reopen our economy. America’s health care and business leaders are committed to working with state, federal, and local officials in every way possible. Working together, the nation will overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
About The American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
AHIP is the national association whose members provide coverage for health care and related services to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. Through these offerings, we improve and protect the health and financial security of consumers, families, businesses, communities and the nation. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that improve affordability, value, access, and well-being for consumers. Visit www.ahip.org for more information.