Mandates Raise Costs
The cost of health insurance has exploded over the past few years, and many employers have been unable to afford the rising premiums. Some employers have dropped their health coverage altogether, while others have had to pass the increases to their employees so they, too, are feeling the pinch.
Proposals that mandate unlimited coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment have many unintended consequences.
Benefit mandates like mental health parity add to the cost of health insurance. Estimates are that there are now more than 1,000 benefit mandates in existence. Various studies have shown that these mandates add as much as 25 percent to the cost of insurance premiums.
More mandates mean more people will not be able to afford health insurance, and the number of uninsured people in our nation grows.
While the intent of such proposals may be to provide needy individuals with access to mental health and possibly substance abuse treatment services, they actually hinder affordable access to health insurance coverage. Mandated benefits cost health insurance carriers and employers money, and those costs are often shifted to the consumer in the forms of increased premiums and cost-sharing requirements, reduced benefits and lower wages.
The Sandhills Association of Health Underwriters (SAHU) has serious concerns about these types of proposals, and we strongly urge members of Congress to implement measures that make health insurance more affordable, not more expensive!
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