Health plans just want to make sure there are protections in place to keep masses of very sick people from bankrupting them. But the industry association had some strong words for HHS and its report.
"We have long agreed that the individual insurance market needs to be reformed," said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for AHIP. "But this report significantly exaggerates the number of people whose coverage is impacted by pre-existing conditions."
Zirkelbach informed HealthLeaders that most people get their coverage through their employer, which does not take into account pre-existing conditions. Further, he said that nine out of 10 individuals who apply for coverage in the individual market are offered a policy. And HHS's figures don't take into account that many individuals not part of an employer-sponsored or individual policy are eligible for public programs, such as Medicaid.
Not surprisingly, conservative think tanks opposed to what they like to call "Obamacare" similarly weighed in on HHS' analysis. A Heritage Foundation blog called the report's findings "misleading and wildly inaccurate," stating that HHS's report was akin saying, "because millions of Americans live within five miles of the seacoast, they risk being killed by the next hurricane if Congress cuts funding for the Army Corps of Engineers."