AMA calls for ACA improvements

The association’s House of Delegates has passed a policy to increase coverage rates and improve affordability.

The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) has agreed on a policy aimed at expanding health insurance coverage even further.

According to a news release, the HOD adopted a policy during its special meeting taking aim at the more than two million nonelderly uninsured Americans with incomes below the poverty line who are ineligible for Medicare but cannot receive premium tax credits because they live in states which didn’t expand Medicaid. The policy calls for any federal approach to expanding coverage to this group should make it available at little or no charge and with robust cost-sharing protections.

It also calls on states which have already expanded Medicaid to receive additional incentives to maintain these expansions.

The AMA has also called for the so-called “family glitch” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which sees families of workers remain ineligible for subsidized coverage even though they face unaffordable premiums through employer coverage. The new policy calls for this to be fixed either by Congress or administrative action to allow more workers and their families to access subsidies through the ACA marketplace, the release says.

“We find ourselves in a time that we can cover the remaining uninsured in this country,” David H. Aizuss, MD, a member of the AMA Board of Trustees, says in the release. “By closing the coverage gap, fixing the family glitch, and helping workers and their families who are facing unaffordable employer coverage, most of the nation’s uninsured will be eligible for ACA financial assistance, either the form of premium tax credits or Medicaid/CHIP. We can capitalize on this financial help available to cover the remaining uninsured.”

AMA also approved a policy which would open the door to ACA marketplace coverage for undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients currently shut out of marketplace coverage even if they pay full cost, according to the release.