As Prepared For Delivery:

Good evening, everyone.

From Day One, President Biden and the Biden-Harris Administration have been focused on lowering health care costs for Americans. 

We know health care costs can be a huge economic stress for families.  And that’s why we’ve lowered insurance costs in the ACA and have a big agenda to lower prescription drug costs.   

And tomorrow, we will announce new steps that continue to lower health care costs for the American people.

First, we’re proposing new steps to crack down on junk insurance.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped tens of millions of Americans access high-quality, affordable health insurance.

It protects Americans from being discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions.

Some types of insurance plans—like short-term limited duration insurance—don’t provide comprehensive coverage.

Importantly, they don’t have to comply with critical ACA protections.

“Short-term” plans are intended to provide temporary coverage as people transition from one source of coverage to another, like when we’re between jobs.

Under the previous administration, however, companies were allowed to take advantage of loopholes and sell “junk insurance” for much longer than intended: up to three years.

Often, consumers think they’re buying insurance that provides decent coverage, not realizing these junk plans can limit what they cover and how much they cover.

This leaves patients  footing the bill—often thousands of dollars’ worth of surprise charges.

For example, a man in Montana faced $43,000 in health care costs because his insurance plan claimed his cancer was a pre-existing condition.[1]

That’s not real insurance. That’s junk insurance.

So, we will propose a rule to crack down on these plans and ensure Americans have access to quality and comprehensive coverage.

If finalized, the rule would limit so-called “short-term” plans to truly short time periods.

It also would require plans that discriminate based on pre-existing conditions and don’t offer comprehensive benefits to disclose their limits clearly to consumers.

This rule would help make these plans fairer—and help ensure that consumers know what they’re getting when they sign up for insurance.

Second, we’re releasing important guidance on rules related to surprise medical billing.

Under this new guidance, we’re making it clear that plans and providers cannot evade surprise billing rules simply by changing the terms they use in their contracts.

For example, some health plans contract with hospitals, then try to claim that they are not technically “in-network.”

Frankly, what they are doing is gaming the system.

This is not allowed and, as our guidance will describe, must end.

Biden-Harris Administration rules are already preventing 1 million surprise medical bills every month. 

Next, we’re tackling the growing use of third-party medical credit cards and loans.

These credit cards often include teaser rates and deferred interest features that lead to higher costs for consumers.

Health care providers may be operating outside of existing consumer protections, because once medical bills are placed on medical credit cards, there may be gaps in how various consumer protections apply. 

Consumers may not fully understand the risks associated with these products.

That is why tomorrow, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of the Treasury will release a Request for Information (RFI) to learn more about this emerging practice—their first-ever collaboration on the needs of health care consumers.

Under this RFI, these agencies also will solicit comment on potential policy actions.

Armed with this information, we’ll continue to work to relieve the burden of medical debt.

Finally, one part of the President’s broader efforts to lower costs has been a robust agenda to lower drug costs.

Tomorrow, we’re releasing data to show how much money Americans are saving from the President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

This law caps out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs to $2,000 per year for Medicare beneficiaries.

A new report from HHS shows just how much they’ll save.

One out of every 3 Medicare Part D enrollees—or nearly 19 million people—will save an estimated $400 on average annually when this cap goes into effect in 2025.

Beneficiaries with the highest drug costs will save an average of $2,500 per year.

These savings build on the President’s other actions to lower drug prices—including finally allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

Lowering the monthly cost of insulin to $35 for people on Medicare.

Altogether, the new steps we’re announcing will build on the President’s tremendous track record of helping Americans save on their health care costs.

Lowering costs remains a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.

We know there’s much more work to do—and we’ll keep fighting until we finish the job.

Thank you.


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