July 11, 2011
Leading Consumer Group Calls Proposed Exchange Regulations Important Step In Giving Consumers Control In Health Insurance Decisions
Statement of Susan Sherry, Deputy Director of Community Catalyst, on the proposed Exchange regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services
(BOSTON) - "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) holds the promise of a better, more accessible health care system for consumers by allowing them to compare health plan options and select the insurance plan that will best suit their needs. Today, Secretary Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations on the health insurance Exchange, a critical step toward giving consumers more control in their health care decisions and creating a more transparent health insurance market.
"The ACA established state-based Exchanges - competitive marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance - that must operate by January 1, 2014. It's estimated by 2019, 29 million people will use Exchanges to buy health insurance.
"If designed well, Exchanges can provide individuals and small business owners with a ‘one stop shop' to directly compare the prices and benefits of different plans and purchase health insurance. Exchanges put individuals and small businesses in the driver's seat by creating competition and transparency among insurers to encourage higher quality plans at lower costs. And consumers will know that the insurance they buy through their Exchange will meet minimum benefit standards.
"Exchanges will go a long way toward leveling the playing field for individuals and small business owners who don't have the clout to go toe-to-toe with big insurance companies. It will be important for consumer groups to weigh in on the proposed regulations to ensure they move us in the right direction to help people - whether uninsured or struggling to afford insurance for themselves and their employees - get and keep health insurance."
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all. Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone - especially vulnerable members of society. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read or comment on our blogs at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org/ and http://postscript.communitycatalyst.org/. Follow us on Twitter @saferxwatch and @healthpolicyhub.