Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is offering ideas on health insurance to national leaders. Doak responded to a request from U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy asking for recommendations as lawmakers move forward with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, we should take this as an opportunity to do something different, something that works,” Doak said. “Unlike other lines of insurance, the hands of the health insurance industry have been tied by the law, unable to grow and innovate. Now is the time to open the market to see what can be done to provide greater access to affordable health insurance for everyone.”
One of Doak’s suggestions to McCarthy includes examining the use of microinsurance. This type of insurance focuses on the low-income population and has been successful in countries like India. Doak included research from David M. Dror, chairman of the Micro Insurance Academy, on how microinsurance could work in the United States. Other ideas from Doak include:
- Permitting sale of insurance across state lines under state regulatory enforcement.
- Adopting policies that expand the use of health savings accounts with more affordable, high-deductible health plans.
- Allowing states to enact new health reforms at the grade-school level that incorporate physical fitness and nutrition programs to deter preventable illnesses.
- Letting states determine the age at which a child can remain on his or her parent’s group health plan.
- Enacting legislation that protects consumers from unfair balance billing and surprise billing from individual providers like anesthesiologists, radiologists or medical service companies such as air ambulance and imaging providers.
- Allowing states to pursue innovative health care delivery mechanisms including, but not limited to, telemedicine and the expansion of the technologically-based Project ECHO® for rural America.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department and Doak will be holding town hall meetings throughout the state to talk with Oklahomans about healthcare reform.