fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

Coalition Urges Two Year Extension of CSR Funding

September 06, 2017 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: Affordable Care Act, FAH News, Insurance

A broad coalition of health care and business groups, including FAH, sent a letter to leaders of the Senate HELP Committee on Tuesday asking for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) benefits to be continuously funded for 2018-2019. The committee is holding two hearings on the issue this week.

“We urge the Committee to include continuous funding for CSR benefits for at least the next two years  as part of bipartisan legislation to stabilize the individual market. Without two years of CSR funding, uncertainty will persist and the Congress will need to address these same issues early next year,” the letter states. “By committing to CSR funding for two years, it would go a long way to bring much needed stability to the individual market and promote access to more affordable coverage and choices for millions of Americans.”

The letter, which was addressed to Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) – Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee respectively, outlined the importance of CSRs.

“CSR benefits help those who need it most: low- and moderate-income Americans with incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty level. Nearly 60 percent of exchange-plan enrollees rely on CSR benefits, which translates into comprehensive coverage and access for nearly 6 million individuals and families. The CSR program makes it more affordable for patients to receive needed medical care and services by reducing deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximums. As a result, providers can better serve the needs of their communities and employers do not needlessly face higher costs to provide coverage to their employees.”

The letter, which you can find here, was signed by FAH, America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Benefits Council, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.