NAIC: healthcare reform is needed

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC) is adding its voice to the current health insurance reform debate. However, citing the amount of attention paid to reform during the 2008 presidential elections, the association wants to remind the public that they should be consider what reforms need to occur, not if any should occur at all.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC) is adding its voice to the current health insurance reform debate. However, citing the amount of attention paid to reform during the 2008 presidential elections, the association wants to remind the public that they should be consider what reforms need to occur, not if any should occur at all.

"There is no serious dispute that our present system fails to cover millions of Americans and costs all of us too much," said Roger Sevigny, the NAIC's president. "These are the two core issues that we must address as we move forward on the broad common ground that exists."
NAIC Committee chair Sandy Praeger added that efficient and affordable healthcare would best be achieved by providing care for everyone, regardless of their age or pre-existing conditions.

"The current proposals would prohibit health insurers from denying someone insurance simply because he or she has been treated for a pre-existing condition," she said. "Similarly, the proposals would prohibit insurers from using health status, gender or occupation when setting premiums."

The NAIC also warned that a voluntary system could result in "adverse selection" where those with higher costs would choose to take part in the system while those less likely to regularly receive care would not bother, therefore rising costs as a whole. Instead, the association suggests that providing coverage for everyone, eliminating caps on annual and lifetime benefits and requiring federal subsidies would help to reduce costs.

The NAIC's worries would seem to corroborate a recent study by The Commonwealth Fund that warned of the potential for a doubling of health insurance premiums by 2020 if there are no reforms to the current healthcare system.

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Posted: August 26, 2009

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