LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – Anita Fox, Director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), has joined a group of state insurance commissioners in a pledge to work with President-elect Joe Biden by providing health policy recommendations to the incoming administration. The announcement was made Wednesday.
“I’m proud to stand with my fellow insurance commissioners to address these critical health care issues with the Biden administration,” said Director Fox. “The State of Michigan is focused on ensuring equitable access to affordable, high quality health care. By addressing these issues with national leaders, we hope to improve outcomes for all Michiganders.”
A letter sent by the group of commissioners detailed six policy recommendations that they described as immediate or critical and six longer-term recommendations for the Biden administration to consider.
Immediate policy recommendations
- Ensure immediate access to the federal marketplace, Healthcare.gov, through a special enrollment period.
- Provide immediate relief from Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidy clawbacks created by COVID-19 uncertainty.
- Provide clarity on COVID-19 testing coverage requirements, especially in regard to tests that are ordered as part of state-based contact tracing efforts.
- Partner with states in actively focusing on programs and practices that address the needs of historically marginalized communities.
- Address problematic elements of the recently proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for Plan Year 2022.
- Allow flexibility for states aiming to pursue progressive policy aims by empowering them to apply for ACA innovation waivers beyond reinsurance.
Longer-term policy priorities
- Reverse policies, such as the weakening of non-discrimination protections and the public charge rule, that undermine the ACA and deny health care coverage to many people.
- Encourage both people and small businesses to enroll in ACA programs, and stop encouraging enrollment in insurance plans that do not provide the ACA’s most critical consumer protections.
- Improve income counting rules to allow consumers greater flexibility.
- Extend premium tax credits to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients so that legally present noncitizens have access to health care coverage.
- Modernize Department of Labor oversight of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to ensure all health insurance coverage is held to similar standards.
- Consider a national reinsurance program to stabilize health insurance markets and improve affordability of health insurance coverage.
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