Better Medicare Alliance Celebrates Reports of HIT Repeal in Year-End Funding Package
Coalition urges “yes” vote on measure to stop the HIT for good
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance, a community of more than 400,000 beneficiaries and over 140 ally organizations supporting Medicare Advantage (MA), responded today to news reports of an emerging, bipartisan spending deal to fully repeal the Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
First made effective in 2014 and twice delayed by Congress since, the HIT is an annual fee placed on 142 million Americans’ health coverage that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has previously explained will be “passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums.”
Over 25 percent of the HIT falls on Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. A 2018 study projected the HIT would have amounted to a $3,052 premium increase per MA beneficiary over 10 years.
“Reports of a bipartisan agreement to permanently lift the threat of the HIT are welcome news for the more than 24 million Americans expected to enroll in Medicare Advantage next year and a testament to the strength of Better Medicare Alliance, our beneficiaries, and our allies,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “Together, we helped beneficiaries send more than 56,000 letters to members of Congress. We mobilized nearly 50 allies to join us in this mission and made our case on behalf of seniors in opinion pages, in advocacy meetings, on social media, and across every other platform we could find.”
Schwartz added, “With the HIT no longer on the horizon, Medicare Advantage can continue to deliver lower costs, better outcomes, and higher value for seniors next year and into the future. Lawmakers’ vote to repeal the HIT will offer certainty that lays the groundwork for investments in innovative care and benefit design to address the needs of today’s seniors in MA. Better Medicare Alliance thanks our champions in Congress for responding to the shared concerns of our beneficiary advocates and ally organizations by including permanent repeal of the HIT in the end-of-year funding measure. We urge all lawmakers to protect their constituents from higher health costs by supporting its passage.”
Better Medicare Alliance’s Latest Work to Stop the HIT:
- 12/13/19 - BMA President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz writes for STAT about the need to stop the HIT.
- 11/06/19 - BMA applauds bipartisan letter from over 50 freshman Members of Congress urging HIT delay.
- 10/29/19 - BMA President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz pens a joint op-ed with Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) on HIT repeal in The Hill.
- 10/25/19 - BMA leads nearly 50 allies in a coalition letter to Congressional leadership urging HIT delay.
- 10/18/19 - BMA publishes new fact sheet outlining the impact of the HIT on Medicare Advantage.