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Insurance Companies Gearing Up For New Coverage Proposals

Insurance companies are reportedly working on improving their public image with an eye on establishing themselves as a player in any upcoming government reform plans for the healthcare system.

According to an Associated Press report, the healthcare industry favors proposals that would require all Americans to carry individual health insurance, with government assistance for those unable to afford it. At least one state, Massachusetts, currently has such a system in place.

"We understand we need to come to the table with very specific solutions," Karen Ignagni of America's Health Insurance Plans told the wire service. Elsewhere, Wellpoint chief executive Angela Braly was quoted as saying that her company has seen considerable growth from government programs that benefit the elderly and others, and predicts that her company "can be a significant part of the solution for the uninsured."

At this point, there is no formal legislation in place that would enact significant reforms to insurance companies.

According to the White House website, some of the proposals favored by President Obama include a tax credit to help small businesses meet healthcare costs, an agreement by the government to subsidize some of the costs of catastrophic health insurance for companies that lower premiums for employees, and a tax credit to help Americans in need of assistance pay for their premiums.

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