Senate HELP Committee Proposes Bipartisan Market Stabilization Package

The draft bill, crafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, aims to bring stability to the health insurance marketplaces.

Oct. 19, 2017 | 2 min read

Led by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the bipartisan package would preserve key protections for people with cystic fibrosis and other pre-existing conditions. It would also fund cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to help low-income individuals with out-of-pocket costs through 2019, among other provisions.

If passed, this bill would primarily impact people who purchase their insurance through the health insurance marketplace, including those with CF. Specifically, people who do not get coverage through their employer or through a public program like Medicaid or Medicare would be most affected.

If passed, the bill would:

  • Guarantee CSR payments through 2019, helping to keep insurers in the markets and stabilize premiums
  • Fund outreach, education, and enrollment activities, which help attract young, healthy people into the marketplaces and lower premiums for everyone
  • Retain current protections for people with pre-existing conditions like CF and maintain a ban on lifetime and annual coverage caps

Following the committee's announcement, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation joined with 28 other patient, provider, and consumer groups to commend the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee for pursuing a bipartisan approach to restoring confidence in the health insurance market and helping to ensure everyone with chronic diseases like CF can access the adequate, affordable coverage they need to stay healthy.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is monitoring these developments closely and will continue to advocate on behalf of people with cystic fibrosis as conversations around health care reform continue. We will inform the CF community as more information becomes available and share opportunities to advocate.

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