Advantages Offered by National Health Access

Published March 1, 2005

The Health Care Policy Roundtable, a project of the HR Policy Association, has identified six main advantages of the National Health Access program it announced in January.

Access to appropriate care. Many uninsured Americans seek primary care through the emergency room. The National Health Access membership card will open the door for these individuals to purchase affordable health insurance, establish relationships with primary care physicians, and receive preventive and ongoing care to lead healthier lives.

Strength in numbers. The individual insurance market often places restrictions on or significantly increases premiums based on a person’s medical history and current health status. By contrast, National Health Access will operate like a group policy by providing consistent access and coverage terms for participants, regardless of medical history.

Easy to use and flexible. National Health Access will offer a range of flexible coverage options, allowing participants to choose the plan that is right for them and their families. With two of the major medical options offered by National Health Access, participants can receive tax benefits by establishing Health Savings Accounts.

Knowledge to make important decisions. The program will provide individuals with information on physician and hospital costs and quality metrics, allowing individuals to choose providers based on the facts. The program also will provide participants with state-of-the-art decision-support tools that will allow them to make informed choices about the level of insurance coverage appropriate for them.

Deep physician and hospital discounts. By pooling large numbers of employees and partnering with leading national health plans that have negotiated deep discounts with health care providers, National Health Access will enable individuals to receive more care for less money–an advantage usually reserved for individuals participating in employer-provided group policies.

No surprises. The large number of likely participants allows the program to offer more stability in pricing/premium levels.

— Susan Konig