R.I. establishes health insurance market stability workgroup

HSRI AND OHIC announced the establishment of a health insurance Market Stability Workgroup designed to suggest state-level solutions to lower health insurance costs and stabilize the health insurance market. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/ANDREW HARRER
HSRI AND OHIC announced the establishment of a health insurance Market Stability Workgroup designed to suggest state-level solutions to lower health insurance costs and stabilize the health insurance market. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/ANDREW HARRER

PROVIDENCE – HealthSource RI and the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner announced the establishment Tuesday of the Market Stability Workgroup, a collection of health care, academic, and business and financial leaders from around the state.

The workgroup will work to determine state-level decisions to keep health insurance markets in the Ocean State stable, considering policy options to lower costs and other recommendations to be made before the start of the 2019 health insurance coverage year.

The group will have its first meeting April 18 at 8 a.m. and plans to meet as many ,as eight times through early June.

The workgroup is co-chaired by Stephen Boyle, chair of Rhode Island’s Health Insurance Advisory Council and president of the Greater Cranston Chamber of Commerce and Bill Wray, chair of HSRI’s Advisory Board and chief risk officer at The Washington Trust Co.

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“Health care costs are a significant investment for employers across Rhode Island,” stated Boyle. “Market instability endangers affordability and accessibility of health care and undermines efforts to foster a prosperous business climate in our state.”

The workgroup is comprised of the following additional members:

  • Cristina Amedeo, managing director of UW 2-1-1 and The POINT, United Way of Rhode Island
  • Ralph Coppola, senior advisor, Meridien Financial Group
  • Gayle Goldin, state senator, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
  • John Gregory, president and CEO, Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Jane Hayward, president and CEO, Rhode Island Health Center Association
  • Dr. Peter Hollmann, chief medical officer, Brown Medicine
  • Kim Keck, president and CEO, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Peter Marino, president and CEO, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
  • Joshua Miller, state senator, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
  • Sue Pearlmutter, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs, Rhode Island College
  • Janet Raymond, senior vice president of economic development and operations, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
  • Samuel Salganik, attorney and health policy analyst, Rhode Island Parent Information Network Inc.
  • Susan Storti, president and CEO, Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island
  • Larry Warner, strategic initiative officer, Rhode Island Foundation
  • M. Teresa Paiva Weed, president, Hospital Association of Rhode Island
  • Members of the R.I. House of Representatives were also invited to the workgroup

“In response to the [Affordable Care Act], the state brought together an effective coalition that resulted in more Rhode Islanders having access to health insurance than ever before,” said Wray in a statement. “In light of changes at the federal level, it’s time for the public and private sectors to come together once again, to ensure that our citizens continue to have access to quality health care at reasonable prices.”

Neither Health Insurance Commisioner Marie L. Ganim nor HSRI Director Zachary W. Sherman were listed as participating in the workgroup.  However, according to HSRI spokeswoman Kyrie Perry, “Director Sherman and the Commissioner are the conveners of the Workgroup.”

“We feel it is important for policy solutions to be determined and recommended to the state by a diverse, expert group of local stakeholders, which is why  the Market Stability Workgroup was established,” Perry added. “HSRI and OHIC will staff the Workgroup to ensure they have the resources they need to achieve the goals set forth. “

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.

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