Report: Moving Forward with Health Reform in Rhode Island

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Even with implementation of Rhode Island’s health benefits exchange under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HealthSourceRI, close to 100,000 Rhode Islanders may not have adequate options unless additional provisions are made by the state. Access to affordable health care is one of the most important and personal decisions anyone can make.

Previous reports by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity have documented both the financial disincentives created by the ACA when it comes to purchasing insurance and identified and quantified the groups of people who are likely to remain uninsured, perhaps up to 97,000 Rhode Islanders.

Anticipated insurance premium hikes are expected to price many individuals out of the market, notwithstanding the subsidies available through the exchange, and other reasons exist for individuals to elect not to purchase insurance, such as lack of perceived value or concern about paying for controversial services like contraception and abortion. With taxes already at overly burdensome levels, it is critical for Rhode Island to identify and promote alternative programs that will provide many more Rhode Islanders with access to health care, without placing further burdens on taxpayers.

State officials are encouraged to seek additional remedies to address this pending shortfall. The free-market programs recommended in this report by our Center are:

  • Mandate-free and mandate-lite, full-disclosure insurance policies
  • Interstate insurance sales
  • Health care sharing ministries
  • Critical illness and accident insurance

Also included in this report are other program recommendations.

It is our Center’s conclusion that it is not feasible that a government-centric, one-size-fits-all approach via the state’s health benefits exchange can adequately address the needs of a highly diverse population. Only with additional patient-centric, consumer-oriented options can we move toward the goal of ensuring that more Rhode Islanders achieve health care and financial peace of mind.

Read our prior Report: Left Behind by Healthcare in RI

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