Charlottesville healthcare advocacy group helps passage of new law

flu seasonMembers of local advocacy group Charlottesville For Reasonable Health Insurance provided testimony at the Virginia General Assembly and organized an email campaign, helping to ensure passage of a critical Virginia healthcare bill that will offer some in the area relief from this year’s health insurance premium crisis. Introduced by VA Sen. Creigh Deeds, SB672 will allow self-employed people to take advantage of the much more affordable health plans in the small group business marketplace, without having to hire employees.

Charlottesville and surrounding counties (Albemarle, Green, Fluvanna and Nelson) have by far the most expensive health care premiums in the nation in 2018. Rates more than tripled for consumers buying coverage on the ACA Individual Exchange, making comprehensive insurance unaffordable for people who do not qualify for subsidy assistance. A typical family of four is being charged $3000 per month for high deductible plans.

“I am very pleased with the passage of SB 672.” said Shawn Cossette, who made numerous trips to Richmond to lobby for the bill. “These small group policies are ACA compliant covering preexisting conditions and preventative care, which I feel is as important as being affordable.”

Without alternatives to the outrageous rates being imposed by Sentara’s Optima Health monopoly, hundreds of individuals and families face financial hardship to buy health coverage that was affordable in 2017. Many are going uninsured or making significant compromises on the quality of coverage.

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