The Health Insurance Association of America HIAA was a trade group that merged with American Association of Health Plans in 2003. The two companies now go under the name of America’s Health Insurance Plans or AHIP and it is both a trade association and a political advocacy group.
The organization operates within a coalition of health care organizations and plans with the mission of simplifying the administrative process of the industry and protecting its members. While the organization desires universal coverage, they oppose any government program due to the belief it would demand such low prices that its members would be forced out of business. For the remainder of this article, the Health Insurance Association of America HIAA will be referred to by its current moniker, AHIP.
Currently, AHIP has about 1,300 member companies that provide health care coverage to 2,000,000 participants. Included coverage includes medical insurance, long term care and supplemental insurance, disability and dental, and more to consumers, their employers and public purchasers. The purpose of the organization is to advocate for the members who provide health care coverage. Known for its lobbying efforts, this group spent over $7 million in 2006 to get its point across to the people they wanted to hear it.
For its members, AHIP follows legislation and advises them on what to expect and how to cope with upcoming changes. For example, when changes to HIPPA arose, the organization offered, for a fee, virtual seminars to help businesses comply with the new laws. The group sponsors surveys on health care and reform, offers conventions, and publishes a good amount of information for both its members and for health care insurance consumers.
As a health insurance user, anyone can also benefit from AHIP’s plethora of online material. Any one looking for information on health insurance can go the web site and download guides on the types of insurance available, short-term insurance, and disability insurance. There are guides for both employers and for individuals. The consumer guide labeled, Questions and Answers about Health Insurance advises people on issues like choosing an appropriate plan, pre-existing conditions and government programs.
Reforms Advocated By AHIP
Over the past few years, America’s Health Care Plans has advocated a number of reforms to the health care system. These include:
- A comprehensive proposal that they claim would guarantee universal coverage by doing things like promising coverage for pre-existing conditions and reducing rising health care costs by 30%.
- An affordability proposal designed to reduce health care spending by $145 billion by 2015.
- A proposal to cover all Americans that was created to provide coverage to 40 million uninsured people with tactics that include expanding eligibility for public programs and allowing all users to purchase coverage with pre tax funds.
The research for the proposals mentioned above, and others that come from the organization, are often based on data from AHIP’s Center for Policy and Research. For example, in March of 2009 the group released a study on small group health insurance based on 761,000 small groups (businesses with less than 50 employees) their 5 million workers and 3.9 million dependents. This study examines premiums, benefits, co-pays and plans of the studied group.
Other studies include an examination of Health Savings Account users, patterns of care of diabetes patients and studies on both Medicare and Medigap coverage. All this information is readily available on the website for anyone who is interested. Businesses, employees or individuals looking for health insurance can use much of the information on the site to make a more informed decision.
Obviously, the number of member plans are too numerous to list. However, some of the most recognizable names are Aetna, Aflac, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CIGNA, Humana, State Farm and United HealthCare. While the purpose of America’s Health Insurance Plans is to provide advocacy to these groups and the others, individuals seeking insurance information can still find timely information on the site. However, if you are looking for individual coverage for your self or your small business then you are your own best advocate.
You can get rate quotes from AHIP members to compare by using the quote tool on this page. It is provided at no charge, and is not sponsored by any of the insurance agencies listed. This is a fast and easy way for you to get quotes on rates, premiums and benefits side by side. It’s so easy to get started. Just type your zip code into the box and get started today!