Health insurance companies are now being warned to stop gouging people by selling insurance plans that include “unnecessary” medical expenses, including drugs and prescriptions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported Tuesday.
The report from the lobby group was released after House Republicans unveiled a bill that would bar insurers from forcing people to pay for medical care they do not need.
“In many cases, the insurance companies will charge higher premiums and deductibles because they don’t need the services, but in many cases these are the same kinds of unnecessary medical expenses that they are already required to disclose,” said Paul S. Pate, vice president for health policy at the Chamber.
“This bill doesn’t address the problem that insurers are selling plans that don’t provide adequate care.
Rather, it creates new problems for people who have health insurance and they should be able to use the government-run marketplace to decide whether they want their coverage or not.”
The health care lobby group released the report after House Republican leaders unveiled a plan to curb the cost of medical care for people with pre-existing conditions, including requiring insurers to provide coverage to people with cancer or a genetic disorder.
The House bill would also bar insurance companies from imposing high premiums for pre-conditions of coverage, such as a spouse or child with cancer.
It also would prohibit insurers from charging people more for coverage than they pay for, and would require the companies to make people sign up for health insurance on a case-by-case basis.
The legislation would also require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to have a mechanism to let consumers decide whether to buy insurance or not.
On Wednesday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he would support the bill, but said the legislation would still need to be amended to protect consumers.
“We need to make sure that there is adequate protection for people,” McConnell said on CNN’s “New Day.”
The Senate bill would bar insurance plans from charging more for pre, lifetime and catastrophic coverage than people pay for it, and require insurers to make out-of-pocket payments for people without health insurance. “
It’s not something that we can get through in a short period of time.”
The Senate bill would bar insurance plans from charging more for pre, lifetime and catastrophic coverage than people pay for it, and require insurers to make out-of-pocket payments for people without health insurance.
Democrats on the House health care committee said the bill is not adequate because it does not include coverage for people suffering from pre- or post-existing medical conditions.
“I’m disappointed that this bill does not address the crisis of pre- and post-conditional coverage, because there is a huge gap between what people who already have health coverage pay and what they pay with insurance,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on MSNBC.
“People who need health care are not paying enough.
We can’t afford to be in this position.”