« Back to All Voices from the Field

Getting to Affordability

Aparna Higgins: National Affordability Summit – Taking a Health Insurance Plan’s Perspective

As a former Senior Vice President with the industry trade association America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Aparna Higgins has extensive experience working on cost-related issues and affordability from the view of a health insurance plan.

“The focus has been on [insurance] coverage with all of the activity in Congress,” says Ms. Higgins. “But people are not aware of what the underlying drivers of premiums are. Relative to historial data, premiums have been relatively stable for the last six years, but people don’t realize that what’s driving premiums if the cost.”

Similarly to the campaigns focused on raising awareness about the pharmaceutical industry’s costs, Ms. Higgins believes there’s a need for something similar with the costs of care delivery. With this awareness campaign, consumers can become more conscious of what they’re actually paying for the services they receive.

“I think we need to build a similar awareness about costs of healthcare in general and the relationship between costs and premiums,” says Ms. Higgins. She goes on to say that consumers are not aware of the link and reframe the conversation so it’s an issue that people understand and can do something about.