October 20, 2017: Contact Your Senators and House Representative to urge them to support the Alexander-Murray health bill!
Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), introduced legislation to stabilize the individual insurance market by reinstating Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR)'s for health insurers. The bill is also intended to provide some flexibility for states in terms of health plan availability while also preserving Essential Health Benefits (EHB's). At this time it is not clear if there is enough support in the Senate and House to pass the bill as stand-alone legislation. This bill could potentially pass as part of the fiscal year 2018 spending omnibus that must be passed by December 8, 2017 to keep the federal government running.
Some key features of the bill include:
· Restore cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers for 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.
· Allows for the sale of additional insurance plans of "comparable affordability" to increase options
· Protections for individuals with low-incomes, serious health needs and other vulnerable populations like pre-existing conditions
· Maintains EHBs and other patient protections
· Allows for the availability of "Copper" plans to people over age 30
· Accelerated and Streamlined State waiver process