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AHIP’s Eyles: Increase access to health care

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Many of health care’s most influential minds are creating a critical mass of knowledge at this week’s AHIP 2023 Medicare, Medicaid, Duals & Commercial Markets Forum in Washington, D.C. AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles says the organization is guided by the principle of improving Americans’ health and well-being by widening access to care — and this conference is where the best ideas from that world are launched into action.

Eyles welcomed attendees with an overview of conference topics and the experts who understand them most intricately. He noted that HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf are on the agenda along with other policy and business leaders, demonstrating by their presence the influential role this gathering plays in the nation’s health future.

Highlighting some of the most compelling subjects to be examined at the conference, Eyles pointed to public-private partnerships he credited with allowing coverage rates to increase and the millions of older adults and people with disabilities who depend on Medicare Advantage. Eyles also underscored the implications of Medicaid redetermination by states, the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency’s end, the needs of dual-eligible Americans and people requiring mental health services, the latest on employer-sponsored coverage and health care affordability, and record-breaking enrollment in health insurance marketplaces.

Solutions are being introduced to ensure enrollment continues on a healthy trajectory, according to Eyles. AHIP recently launched the Connecting to Coverage Coalition, a national initiative that will serve as a clearinghouse for trusted information and best practices during the Medicaid redetermination process, which could result in as many as 14 million Americans losing coverage. And as always, Eyles said, the organization will advocate for policies and protocols that broaden insurance coverage.

The word “cover” means to shield and protect the entirety of something, not just parts of it, and that’s a concept worth striving toward in the health insurance sector — especially in trying times when many Americans face uncertainty.

“We’ve been through a lot in the last few years,” Eyles said. “It’s critical to ensure that health coverage ­remains strong for every American … because every person deserves access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality coverage and care.”

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Julia M. Johnson is a health care writer at SmartBrief.