Washington, D.C. - In case you missed it, on Friday, December 1st, U.S. Senator Susan Collins received a commitment from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that appears in the Congressional Record to pass two important bipartisan bills before year’s end to mitigate premium increases: Alexander-Murray, legislation to help low-income families afford insurance, and Collins-Nelson, legislation to help protect people with pre-existing conditions via high-risk pools.
The first bill Senator McConnell committed to pass is the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act introduced by Senators Alexander and Murray, which will provide vital funding in 2019 and 2020 for the cost-sharing reductions received by low-income enrollees in the ACA exchanges. This funding helps low-income families pay their out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-pays.
The second bill Senator McConnell committed to pass is bipartisan legislation Senator Collins introduced, which will protect people with pre-existing conditions while lowering premiums through the use of high-risk pools. This plan will provide states with a total of $10.5 billion—$500 million in 2018 to help states set up the pools and $5 billion per year in 2019 and 2020 in seed money—to establish invisible high-risk pools or traditional reinsurance programs. In Maine and Alaska, high-risk pools were used to lower premiums substantially – by an average of 20 percent.
Click HERE to read the colloquy in the Congressional Record.