There is currently a proposal under possible consideration for inclusion in the Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform legislation that would mandate 24-hour insurance coverage through employers. This type of around-the-clock insurance coverage is for both work-related and non-work-related health care. Thus, 24-hour coverage has been proposed as a type of health care system reform that integrates the health coverage and benefits currently offered by public and private insurance programs, state workers' compensation systems, and the medical component of automobile insurance.
When NAMIC learned that this proposal was being considered, we contacted the senators on the Finance Committee to explain the issue and urge them to oppose this provision should it come up for a vote.
NAMIC and the property/casualty mutual insurance industry oppose the concept of 24-hour insurance coverage. Mutual insurance companies across the country are successfully and comprehensively providing workers compensation and automobile insurance coverage to millions of Americans.
The creation of a 24-hour insurance coverage program could drastically reduce premium dollars for those companies providing this coverage by eliminating these lines of insurance - and could reduce the protections provided their policyholders. Combining general health coverage, workers compensation coverage, and automobile coverage into a single product would reduce the number of carriers capable of providing these lines of insurance to their policyholders.
NAMIC is very concerned about the effect 24-hour coverage would have on the current effective operation of workers compensation and automobile insurance coverage. Such a plan would result in increased costs for mutual insurers and consumers, regulatory confusion, and a lack of effective insurance coverage like is currently available.
We will continue to work closely with the Senate to ensure that 24-hour coverage does not remain a part of the health care debate as it continues.