AHIP’s Ignagni Pushes Back on Premiums in the New York Times

AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni submitted a letter-to-the-editor in response to a New York Times article on premiums last week.  The letter was published today, and the full text is below.

To the Editor:

Re: “Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits” (1/6/13)

Health plans share the goal of affordable health care coverage for all Americans.  Arbitrarily capping premiums without addressing underlying cost drivers will not move the country closer to that goal.

Data show that premiums are increasing due to the unsustainable rise in medical costs, new benefit mandates that make coverage more expensive, and the impact of younger and healthier people forgoing insurance due to a slow economy.  Moreover, the health care reform law imposed new rate review requirements and an unprecedented federal cap on health plan administrative costs and profits – further suggesting that rising premiums are being driven by increased spending on medical care.

Focusing on affordability is critical as the reform law is fully implemented in 2014.  That is why policymakers should address provisions that will further increase premiums, such as the health insurance tax, and take steps to ensure broad participation in the system.

Karen Ignagni
President and CEO
America’s Health Insurance Plans

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