Humana on health care reform
Humana believes all Americans deserve affordable, quality healthcare coverage. We need a healthcare system that works for everyone.
Humana has said for a long time that it will take bipartisan solutions and cooperation to solve our health care crisis. All Americans deserve affordable, quality healthcare, and as the federal healthcare reform law is put in place, Humana is focused on achieving affordability and ensuring peace of mind for the people and businesses that rely on us.
Throughout the health care reform debate, Humana has maintained that American health care needs comprehensive reform that makes pre-existing condition restrictions a thing of the past and that guarantees coverage, with everyone participating in the system. When everyone participates, costs are spread more fairly, and coverage is as affordable as can be.
What does healthcare reform mean for Humana individual or group members? Review answers to some common member questions.
The federal healthcare reform law contains a number of positive steps that Humana supports, but it falls short in other areas.
The law widens access to coverage, putting health insurance in reach of millions of Americans who otherwise were shut out. It also removes pre-existing conditions as a barrier to coverage, rightly ensures that premiums are no longer based on health status or gender, and provides financial assistance for those who need it, so that no one falls through the cracks.
However, the law falls short in addressing the underlying cause of our health care crisis—rising costs. Americans need secure, affordable coverage choices, and cost control is critical to achieving that goal. We are concerned that the healthcare reform law does not address some of the root causes of medical cost inflation, which means the cost curve is likely to continue bending in the wrong direction. The law also includes a premium tax, scheduled to take effect in 2014, that will unfairly drive up costs for small businesses and many seniors.
To truly make coverage more affordable, all parts of our healthcare system must do more to create value, eliminate waste, encourage effective care and promote health. We must:
The most significant healthcare reforms are set to take effect in 2014, including guaranteed coverage, rating restrictions and health insurance exchanges. These dramatic changes will considerably alter our health care system, and our goal must be a smooth and stable transition that does nothing to disrupt the coverage that Americans count on today.
For example, we must find ways to ease the transition to new rating requirements, which state experience shows us will abruptly raise costs for the young, unless we build-in a gradual transition period. We must also preserve a wide range of options, so people can choose a plan that's right for them.
Medicare is another critical piece of our nation's health care system. We must find ways to modernize Medicare and help it overcome its cost challenge. Humana agrees with the President and leaders of both parties that the Medicare program needs to be improved to cope with upcoming challenges. The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that Medicare cost will nearly double in 10 years, to more than $1 trillion, and roughly three of four adults age 65 or older have two or more chronic conditions.
We must ensure that people with Medicare will have the affordable, quality coverage they need—not just today, but into the future. Reform proposals vary, but many share important similarities like choice and an emphasis on care coordination. They all succeed in creating dialogue that gets us closer to solutions.
Medicare can best be improved by combining the best of the public and private sectors. The public sector provides an important safety net, while the private sector—through Medicare Advantage—has helped improve quality, create value-based networks and systems that coordinate care, and control cost. Medicare Advantage and its coordinated approach to care—encompassing clinical, wellness and prevention programs—is a model that can help stabilize the Medicare system.
Humana is committed to helping build a sustainable future for American healthcare. And, we're not waiting. We're advancing ideas and collaborating with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to advance quality and enhance health outcomes, promote prevention and wellness, help patients and physicians fight chronic conditions and reduce unnecessary costs and services. In short, Humana is delivering innovative approaches that are both good for people and good for our health care system:
Despite deep divisions, our nation needs to find ways to move healthcare solutions forward in a constructive way. Humana will continue to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to promote healthcare affordability, provide security and preserve choices for all Americans.
This information is only a high-level summary of certain provisions of the health care reform law. This information does NOT attempt to summarize all provisions of the health care reform law. This information is NOT and should NOT be used as legal or tax advice; it should NOT be used as a basis for decisions on how the health care reform law will affect you and/or your business. Should you have any questions on how the health care reform law (including the high level summary of certain provisions of health care reform) will affect you and/or your business, you should seek professional advice from attorneys or other advisors.