Last week, Enroll America released recommendations for the next presidential administration on how to build on the landmark successes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A September survey showed that the national uninsured rate fell to an all-time low of 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016. As the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, we’ve witnessed this historic progress firsthand, working with more than 6,700 partners in all 50 states to create cutting-edge tools, analyze data, inform policy, and share best practices to maximize enrollment.
Our recommendations focus on five detailed, actionable steps that should be taken by the next administration to solidify enrollment gains, ensure marketplace stability, and continue reaching the remaining uninsured.
Here is a summary of our recommendations:
1. Invest in aggressive outreach efforts to reach the remaining uninsured. This includes increased funding and support for organizations best positioned to reach key groups of the remaining uninsured, and tasking federal agencies with educating and referring uninsured consumers needing assistance.
2. Make in-person enrollment assistance available to every American. This means increasing funding for Navigators and Certified Application Counselors, while also emphasizing online scheduling tools like the Get Covered Connector.
3. Ensure consumers continue to have affordable choices on the marketplace. This includes extending the marketplace re-insurance program and modifying the risk adjustment program to better protect issuers from high-cost claims. The next administration should also work with Congress to reduce consumer costs by redefining the way the benchmark plan is calculated and expanding access to cost-sharing reductions.
4. Continue to emphasize data transparency. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should share data on the pathways enrollees are using to get covered and findings from HHS-funded consumer research, and should collect and publish detailed information about marketplace plans and consumers’ experiences with them.
5. Operate a state-of-the-art, accessible enrollment system via HealthCare.gov by the fifth open enrollment period. By simplifying and modernizing communication with consumers, testing and refining consumer support tools, and improving the consumer experience with the HealthCare.gov call center, the next administration should ensure consumers have the best possible interactions with services offered by the marketplace.
We look forward to working alongside the next administration to continue the progress towards a country where every American can get covered and stay covered. To read Enroll America’s full recommendations, click here.