The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is actively working to reduce regulatory burdens and improve health insurance options under Title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In January, the new administration directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to achieve these aims. As a result, HHS sought comments from stakeholders on recommendations for “Reducing the Regulatory Burdens of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
After requesting input from the College’s Executive Committee, Practice Management Committee and the Advocacy Council (AC), this past week a letter from the AC and the College was sent to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in support of reducing regulatory burdens and focusing on three areas of concern:
- Empowering patients and promoting consumer choice through network adequacy: We expressed concern that ACA regulation of qualified health plans do not ensure network adequacy and that so-called “narrow” or “skinny” networks limit patient choice.
- High-deductible plans: Many plans offered through the exchanges have very high deductibles which, in our experience, limits access to care.
- Informed Consumers: One way to advance patient understanding is to support initiatives that educate patients about plan options and exactly what is covered before they sign up.
The AC will continue to monitor this issue and will update its members when applicable.