Sebelius Says Insurers Can Help Residents Get Coverage During ‘Gap’
In a reversal of the Obama administration's critical view of the insurance industry, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently has begun encouraging insurers to collaborate with the White House to help U.S. residents obtain health coverage in the "gap" between now and 2014, when the major provisions of the new health reform take effect, Reuters reports.
Previous Criticism of Industry
Sebelius had criticized insurers for proposing double-digit rate hikes for consumers in the individual policy market.
However, her new approach is more friendly and cooperative, reflecting an effort to implement provisions of the new health reform law and improve relations between employers and Democrats before the November midterm elections.
New Approach 'Gaining Traction'
According to Sebelius, the goal over the next few years is to stabilize the private sector by providing uninsured individuals with insurance and to make sure those who have insurance keep their coverage.
Sebelius said that her approach is "gaining traction," as one insurer recently signed up 500 new customers from a pool of small businesses that were unaware they were eligible for tax credits (Richwine, Reuters, 7/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.