Press Releases

BETTER MEDICARE ALLIANCE, MORE THAN 45 CONSUMER GROUPS TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE HIT!

Health care leaders rally around bipartisan legislation providing two- year delay of the multi-billion dollar Health Insurance Tax (HIT)

Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading advocacy coalition for Medicare Advantage, convened more than 45 consumer groups and health care stakeholders on a letter to Congressional leadership urging the delay of the multi-billion-dollar Health Insurance Tax (HIT).

Suspended by Congress in 2017 and 2019, the HIT is set to take effect on January 1, 2020, barring Congressional action. The tax could impact patients’ health costs by up to $20 billion upon its return.

In a letter, BMA and supporting organizations note the HIT’s unique threat to the more than 22 million seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage, explaining: “Medicare Advantage has the opportunity to do even more for individuals with chronic conditions with new flexibility starting in 2020 to provide care and services to meet social needs that impact health for the chronically ill ... however, the return of the HIT may cause uncertainty and possibly disrupt the ability for plans to ... ensure these services are widely available to eligible, high-need beneficiaries.”

BMA and its cosigners are urging Congressional leadership to enact the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 1398/S. 172), bipartisan legislation co- sponsored by nearly one-third of each chamber of Congress to delay the HIT for two years, thereby staving off cost increases for seniors and providing peace of mind to patients who depend on Medicare Advantage’s protections, including the more than half of enrollees who live on less than $24,000 annually.

“In a divided Congress, this legislation has wide bipartisan support,” remarked Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “This is an immediate answer to consumers’ deep concerns about the affordability of health coverage. Passage of the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act would provide financial security to our most vulnerable beneficiaries who are counting on Washington to take action.”

See a BMA fact sheet on the HIT here.

BMA’s letter to Congressional leadership is also signed by:

American Physical Therapy Association
Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach / Treasure Coast, Inc. Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness
ChenMed
Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey
ConcertoHealth
Connecticut Association of Health Underwriters
Consumer Action
Council for Affordable Health Coverage
Direct Primary Care Coalition
Einstein Healthcare Network
Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health
Healthcare Leadership Council
Health Partners Plans
International Council on Active Aging
Iora Health
Landmark Health
MANNA
Martin’s Point Health Care
Meals on Wheels America
National Adult Day Services Association
National Association of Dental Plans
National Association of Health Underwriters
National Association of Hispanic Nurses
National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Medical Association
National Minority Quality Forum
New Jersey State Nurses Association
Northwell Health
Nurse Practitioner Association New York State
Oak Street Health
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
Population Health Alliance
Prevea Health
Public Sector Healthcare Roundtable
SilverSneakers by Tivity
SNP Alliance
SSM Health
Summa Health System (Ohio)
Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky
The Latino Coalition
UPMC
Visiting Nurse Service of New York

 

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