Why It Matters
While most Americans have access to a coverage option today through existing, proven coverage platforms, the private sector and government must continue to work together to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality coverage.
There are currently 175 million people enrolled in insurance coverage through their employers, and 5 million more individuals could be covered by incentivizing employers to maintain their health plans and by lowering costs.
Protecting and growing employer-sponsored insurance can encourage employers to establish progressive premiums that allow lower-income workers to pay a more affordable share of the total premium. Additional solutions for providing coverage for more people include expanding access for individuals to health savings accounts (HSAs), and improving IRS-qualified high-deductible health plans to permit all primary care – including behavioral health and virtual visits – to be covered as preventive, as research shows that patients with access to a regular primary care physician have lower health care costs than those without one due to improved health outcomes.
We have to think about how we can improve the experience of health care, how we can make it more accessible and affordable, and take away anxiety.
Andrew Witty CEO, UnitedHealth Group
Medicaid provides free or low-cost health coverage to more than 70 million Americans with low income, as well as individuals with disabilities, the vast majority of whom lack access to other affordable health insurance. It is a proven, cost-effective coverage platform.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to providing diversified health care products and services to state programs that care for the economically disadvantaged and medically underserved. UnitedHealthcare Community & State provides diversified health care benefit products and services to 6.9 million Americans in programs uniquely designed to address the complex needs of the populations they serve, including the chronically ill, those with disabilities, and people with higher-risk medical, behavioral and social conditions.
The Individual Market
Currently, 14 million individuals are covered through the private individual market. Ten million individuals who could be covered through individual market insurance today, remain uninsured.
States are in the best position to expand and enhance the quality of coverage and care in their individual markets. Lower cost, innovative individual market products that maintain consumer protections and better meet the needs of consumers can help advance the important goals of expanding access and enhancing the quality of health care to achieve affordable coverage for individuals.
Medicare Advantage (MA) has grown 8% to 10% annually over the past decade, and currently serves more than 24 million seniors and individuals with disabilities with a satisfaction rate of over 90%. MA beneficiaries also spend nearly 40% less in annual premiums and out-of-pocket costs than beneficiaries in traditional Medicare.
Building on the strength and success of Medicare Advantage by allowing plans to provide beneficiary and provider incentives will help ensure more individuals have access to the care they need.