PPA Tackles Health Care Exchanges
The cost of your health care coverage is balancing precariously on a single issue being discussed in Washington, D.C., and PPA is stepping up to argue on your behalf. The issue deals with photographers’ abilities to participate cost-effectively in health care pools, described in legislative terms as “exchanges.” Exchanges are critical if small businesses are going to have access to more affordable health insurance, and the design of these exchanges is a central point currently being explored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Simply put, the larger the insurance pool or exchange, the better the rates,” explains PPA Chief Executive Officer David Trust. “For many small businesses, the entire health care debate boils down to one single issue: cost. This is the primary reason we have argued so vehemently in favor of the creation of exchange pools since the health care debate first began this Congress.”
PPA is joining the Small Business Health Care Coalition to stress to HHS the importance of creating health care exchanges favorable to small business employers. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with stakeholders (like trade associations representing small businesses) while they develop the rules and standards for the state-based health care exchanges established under the new law.
In its comments, PPA did the following:
- Expressed the differences and difficulties that small businesses of varying sizes face when accessing health care.
- Reminded HHS of the varying nature of small business models not only across different industries, but also geographically.
- Urged HHS to streamline rules and regulations to ensure that exchanges do not create additional burdens or costs to small business employers.
While state-level health care exchanges are not scheduled to begin operating until 2014, we wanted to make sure your voice and thoughts were heard early on in the process. PPA looks forward to working with HHS and its respective agencies to ensure small-business-friendly (and photographer-friendly) regulations are established.
“Health care coverage for themselves, their families and employees is something our members have struggled with for a number of years,” says Trust. “We hope the insight we have offered the department will improve photographers’ abilities to purchase quality health care.”
Keep in mind that until the state-based exchanges open in 2014, photographers have access to a combination of tax credits, high-risk pools and changes in health care regulations that prevent health insurers from excluding applicants or assessing unreasonable premiums or premium increases.
In addition to representing members on copyright issues, PPA is a strong advocate on small business issues, primarily relating to health care. Through the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, PPA advocates health care solutions that meet the needs of small business owners, employees, the self-employed and their families. In previous congressional sessions, PPA has supported various health reform bills, in particular those that would provide trade associations the ability to create insurance pools on behalf of its members.