AHIP studies health insurance plans to improve emergency preparedness

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) recently surveyed health insurance companies to help understand the country's level of preparedness for an emergency.

AHIP said understanding health insurance plans is “essential” to improving and securing the health of the nation. The information can also be used to ensure health care services are available during an emergency. The plans were studied to examine current emergency preparedness practices and the level of care available during a disaster.

The survey looked at several different areas that are related to emergency preparedness including: adapting policies and capabilities during emergencies; emergency planning and infrastructure; looking at previous disasters; and connecting members and communities.

About 63 percent of health insurance companies sent a survey responded. A total of 190.6 million people were covered under the health plans, which equals about 81 percent of people who are enrolled in health plans in the country.

AHIP suggested six modifications to the health plans that it believes would improve the plans when it came to emergency preparedness.

The modifications include: improving state, local and federal stakeholder communication; establishing metrics and benchmarks when planning emergency policies; looking into digital strategies to help improve communication; improve access to health care services for at-risk individuals; establish forums to exchange ideas about emergency preparedness; and identify modifications for disaster policies.

AHIP is an association that represents the health care industry. Its members provide more than 200 million Americans with health care coverage.

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