Aging advocates seek delay in return of Health Insurance Tax

The Better Medicare Alliance recently sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) through 2020. If the HIT returns, millions of American seniors and others with health insurance coverage could face a major premium increase totaling more than $20 billion.

Access to health care is of paramount importance to American seniors who depend on Medicare for health services, financial security and peace of mind. This is especially critical to seniors living on fixed incomes, many of whom rely on Medicare Advantage for its high-quality care, affordability, simplicity and enhanced benefits. While much of the public’s attention has focused on the HIT’s harmful effects on individuals and consumers in the employer group markets, the alliance urges lawmakers to consider the serious negative economic effects of the HIT as it applies to senior and disabled Americans in Medicare Advantage.

The return of the HIT in 2020 could equate to more than $500 in additional annual premiums for the typical Medicare Advantage couple — a sum that far too many simply cannot afford.

The Better Medicare Alliance is supported by 36 organizations that represent and provide care for Medicare beneficiaries, including Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health and Einstein Healthcare Network in Pennsylvania.