Stephen Hemsley – CEO
Aren’t planning for any changes to insurance
“We have engaged with elected officials from both parties, and at the federal and state levels, to address improving quality, access, affordability, cost and satisfaction for all stakeholders. Affordability can be improved most in the immediate term through lower tax, and we hope Congress act soon to permanently repeal the health insurance tax, look forward further worsens consumers’ premiums, state budgets and senior benefits. We have though insight as to whether that will or will not occur, and accordingly, our plans continue to assume the taxable return in 2018, which will raise premiums and/or reduce benefits for commercial businesses, state and our nation’s senior population.”
We’d like to repeal the health insurance tax
“In our prepared remarks, we obviously focused on the health insurance tax. Because that, as Dan said, is going into the marketplace now for 2018. And that has an impact on affordability and the uptake of the participation in those markets. So we are strong advocate of repealing that and to taking that action as quickly as possible. Beyond that, we have engaged. We think pretty constructively around the notion of, and I think you can see this in our published materials on our Web site, that we see actually a marketplace that could be pretty constructive. But based upon more orientation to state based markets, more flexibility in the marketplace, really seeing Medicaid as the programs that have grown in effectiveness and to become broadly recognized as actually very efficient healthcare coverage for the populations to which they apply.”
We support taxing us less
Sure. Good morning Dave. Obviously, from our perspective, we have been long supporters of the permanent repeal of the health insurers’ tax. At the end of the day, obviously, it just increases the cost of healthcare, makes it less affordable and compromises people’s ability to gain coverage. So we are certainly advocating along those lines. As we think about the tax itself, obviously, we’ve got to deal with it as it sits currently in loss, and so that’s what we’re doing. We’re planning accordingly. We’re incorporating and then pricing and also incorporating in our thinking as we plan our benefits in Medicare.