March 21, 2018

Senator Hassan Joins Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Help Make Health Care More Affordable, Hold Insurance Companies Accountable, and Strengthen Consumer Protections

WASHINGTON  Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a number of her colleagues today in introducing the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act to help make health care more affordable, hold health insurance companies accountable, and strengthen consumer protections in private health insurance. In the wake of the Trump Administration sabotaging the health care system and causing instability in the markets, the bill includes provisions to help improve the quality and affordability of health insurance purchased on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges or provided through employer coverage. 

“Every Granite Stater and American deserves quality, affordable health insurance coverage that helps them live healthy and productive lives,” said Senator Hassan. “Too many families continue to struggle with rising health care costs – which have been exacerbated by the Trump Administration’s efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and destabilize health care insurance markets. I am proud to help introduce the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act, which includes critically important provisions to lower health care costs and prioritize the needs of patients while also helping to stabilize insurance markets.”

The Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act includes a number of provisions aimed at increasing the affordability of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act by increasing premium tax credits, expanding cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, and making more families eligible for premium tax credits. These changes will guarantee that every individual on the ACA exchanges has access to a plan that covers 80 percent of out-of-pocket costs and pays no more than 8.5 percent of their income in premiums. The bill would also guarantee payment of CSRs, strengthen protections for essential health benefits, require all short-term insurance products to meet ACA standards, and block the Trump Administration’s rule on association health plans.  

The legislation works to hold insurance companies accountable by putting an end to practices that hurt patients and requiring companies to live up to the same high standards that are set for private insurers when they participate in private Medicare and Medicaid plans, such as Medicare Advantage or Medicaid managed care. The bill sets up an ombudsman program to track consumer complaints about insurers, sets limits on insurance company profits to match those private insurers can earn in private Medicare and Medicaid plans, and protects against unreasonable premium increases with stronger rate review standards. The bill also requires insurers making money off Medicare and Medicaid to offer coverage on the ACA exchanges in areas with limited insurer competition. 

Click here for more information on the legislation, and find the bill text here.

The Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act is endorsed by Families USA, Consumers Union, Public Citizen and Community Catalyst. See their statements of support here