Fight the abuses of big insurance companies and encourage policy makers to take action.

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Even before a global pandemic changed the world, improving health care options and affordability were ideas that enjoyed bipartisan support. Delivering these results for Virginia families and businesses is even more important now as we continue to deal with a public health crisis. The Commonwealth’s leaders have already made some significant strides to improve health care for Virginians through Medicaid expansion in 2018 and by putting an end to surprise medical bills in 2020. Still, there is more work to be done.

One critical priority is insurance reform. The New York Times recently reported “the nation’s leading insurers (including Anthem, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group) are experiencing an embarrassment of profits” during the COVID-19 pandemic while the rest of the economy suffers. As doctors, nurses, and staff at hospitals and nursing homes expose themselves to risk by caring for vulnerable patients on the COVID-19 front lines, big insurance companies are making record profits, cutting back on covered services, and pursuing rate increases.

The Virginia Mercury and STAT News report that big insurance companies are cutting primary care provider reimbursements and scaling back on coverage for virtual patient visits. Meanwhile, Kaiser Health News reports that “health insurance costs for Americans who get their coverage through work continued a relentless march upward with average family premiums rising 4 percent” and overall have “soared 55 percent in the past decade — more than twice the pace of inflation and wages.” And here in Virginia, big insurance companies recently filed for 2021 rate increases with the State Corporation Commission. The people of Virginia deserve better. 

Big insurance companies should be held to account for their conduct and we, the undersigned, ask our elected leaders to take additional steps to protect Virginians by reigning in big insurance companies.