Washington — America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a Washington-based association of health insurers, has endorsed a universal coverage mandate.

Under the new proposal, health plans participating in the individual health insurance market would be required to offer coverage to all applicants as part of a universal participation plan in which all individuals were required to maintain health insurance.

AHIP also said that premium support for moderate-income individuals and broad spreading of risk was necessary to promote affordability and maintain premium stability in the individual health insurance market.

“No one should fall through the cracks of our healthcare system,” says Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of AHIP. “Universal coverage is within reach, and can be achieved by building on the current system.”

The announcement follows a nationwide listening tour conducted by AHIP as part of its Campaign for an American Solution. Concerns about coverage for pre-existing conditions, continuity of coverage for those between jobs and maintaining affordability for those with insurance were raised repeatedly across the country, AHIP says.
“AHIP’s board of directors is responding to the concerns of the American people by offering a workable solution to ensure that no one is left out of the healthcare system because of their health, age, income or employment status,” says Ignagni.

The new proposal builds on the series of comprehensive reform plans that AHIP’s board of directors began releasing in November 2006. AHIP also reiterated their long-standing support for making eligible for Medicaid every uninsured American living in poverty, and strengthening the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Source: America’s Health Insurance Plans

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