Healthy Vision Summit Approves 9 Recommendations on the Uninsured

In the morning session of Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit II, participants addressed possible solutions to the problems posed by the fact that one-quarter of Texas’ population lacks health insurance. In a city the size of Houston, for example, that amounts to more than 1 million uninsured people.

Summiteers worked up 14 recommendations in answer to this question: “What can the State of Texas do to facilitate public-private partnerships to help small employers provide health coverage for their workers?” Based on the Summit groundrules, only those recommendations that received support of 60 percent or more of the participants will go on for further consideration at Summit III.

These nine recommendations exceded the 60-percent threshold:



Provide tax incentives for businesses to offer health insurance to employees; incentives dependant on offering wellness programs and preventive services.


Implement effective financial and other incentives including employer tax breaks to create a standard benefit package and insurance pool for small employers less than 50). This effort would be supported with education and marketing of these programs.


Convene stakeholders business community, physicians, academic centers, other healthcare providers, insurance companies, hospitals) to define what the product should look like; what is feasible; and what is affordable.


Define a basic essential benefit package which includes catastrophic coverage. Eliminate existing mandated benefits and require benefits to be evidence-based, supporting public health needs and establishing a medical home.


Maximize federal match available for Medicaid/CHIP to capture dollars currently left on the table, with the requirement that captured funds be used in part to establish programs to incentivize small businesses to offer “3-Share” type programs to their employees.


Incentivize employers by expanding recent legislation allowing governmental agencies to give bid points/preferences to employers who provide some type of health insurance to their employees. This should be expanded statewide to all forms of government.


The state should encourage the development of a public/private partnership that educates businesses on the need to provide insurance for employees, and help businesses provide basic catastrophic coverage from actuarially sound health plan whose rates are based on a statewide pool of all businesses. The state also should increase efforts to educate the public on the need to lead a healthy lifestyle, and provide incentives for those who do so.


Develop statewide insurance pool for small employers. Key features of this pool are community rating, portability, and emphasis on prevention. There should be a standardized benefit package, developed by the state with stakeholder input. The state would manage enrollment and marketing. Employers can purchase their own health insurance or belong to a central connector. The central connector would pool resources and provide the following benefits: Human resource information, family coverage, wellness programs, and greater affordability from savings achieved from not using an insurance broker


Short-term: Encourage pro-bono collaborative care that is coordinated Project Access), using TMA and THA to create a model and serve as a clearinghouse.


Published in: on September 1, 2006 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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