Healthy Vision Summit Uninsured Recommendations – Distilled

I have finally finished sorting through the many tremendous recommendations from TMA’s Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit II on how to solve Texas’ terrible uninsured problem. I tried to organize and combine them in some logical manner. I excluded all the recommendations that either:

  • Did not receive the necessary 60-percent approval from all Summit II participants; or
  • Did not receive 60-percent approval from any of the sub-groups attending Summit II.

I know the latter criterion was not part of the announced Summit II ground rules. But if our goal is a collaborative legislative agenda that all Summit participants can support, it seems prudent to omit those recommendations that already have elicited opposition from one or more of our core groups.

Plans are still in the works for exactly how Summit III will work. In the meantime, please use this blog to comment on what you like or don’t like about these recommendations. (Wellness recommendations will be posted shortly).

Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit II Recommendations – The Uninsured:

To facilitate public-private partnerships to help small employers provide health coverage for their workers, the State of Texas should:

  1. Provide tax incentives for businesses to offer health insurance benefits to employees, if those benefits include wellness programs and preventive services.
  2. Establish and market an actuarially sound, statewide insurance pool for small employers (fewer than 50 employees). Participating employers would receive tax benefits. The pool would offer basic catastrophic coverage and other elements of the basic essential benefit package. (see next proposal)
  3. Convene stakeholders (business community, physicians, academic centers, other health care providers, insurance companies, hospitals) to define a basic essential benefit package. The package should:
    – Be feasible and affordable;
    – Include catastrophic coverage;1
    – Not be constrained by currently mandated benefits;
     -Include only evidence-based benefits;
    – Support public health needs; and
    – Promote the establishment of a medical home.
  4. Maximize federal match available for Medicaid/CHIP to capture dollars currently left on the table. Some of the captured funds would be used to incentivize small businesses to offer “3-Share” type programs to their employees.
  5. Expand recent legislation allowing governmental agencies to give bid points/preferences to employers who provide some type of health insurance to their employees. These preferences would be expanded to include to all forms of government statewide.
  6. Establish a public/private partnership including business organizations, physicians and other health care organizations, and appropriate state and local agencies to educate businesses on the need to provide health insurance for employees.

NOTE: The following recommendation, approved as part of the Summit II forum on the uninsured, will be covered in the recommendations approved during the forum on wellness:
The state should increase efforts to educate the public on the need to lead a healthy lifestyle, and provide incentives for those who do so.

NOTE 2: Posting these recommendations does not imply that Texas Medical Association endorses or supports any or all of these recommendations. Like other organizations involved in the Healthy Vision Summit II, TMA is reviewing the recommendations and will offer further comments at Summit III.

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Published in: on September 15, 2006 at 4:54 pm  Comments (1)  

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