National Consumers League

Health Advisory Council Newsletter | 2019 Q2 | Member Q&A

Matt_Eyles_2019.jpgMatt Eyles

President and CEO
America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) 

Q. What is your role at AHIP?

A. As president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, I partner with our industry’s leaders to fulfill our shared mission and vision for health care in America. Together, health insurance providers are working to expand access to affordable healthcare coverage to all Americans, through a competitive market that fosters choice, quality, and innovation.

Q. In 100 words or less, what do you think Council members should know about AHIP? 

A. AHIP is the national association whose members provide coverage and health‐related services. We serve as a strong, unified voice for an industry that is leading the way in transforming health care for patients and consumers. Our advocacy is centered around improving health care by delivering better health, better affordability, and better financial security for every American. When patients have more choice and control, people can get the care they need when they need it, at a price they can afford.

Q. Please tell us about some of AHIP’s current initiatives.

We have several priorities and initiatives that we’re really excited about. First, we are calling for an end to surprise medical bills - because patients should be protected, particularly when they’re at their most vulnerable. Second, we are working hard to bring down drug prices for all Americans. Third, we are engaging with consumers to understand how we as an industry can deliver greater value for them, making health care more affordable, accessible, and easier to use. 

One of our most exciting initiatives is the recent launch of Project Link – which delivers on a Board-level commitment to bring together the best thinking on how to affectively address social barriers to health and long-term well-being. We know a person’s health is influenced by many factors outside of health care, including the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work, and age. Project Link brings together health insurance providers and potential partners to address issues from housing to health eating to transportation. It will establish clear, collective strategies and goals to ensure new programs to address social determinants of health are scalable, sustainable, and measurable in improving health and affordability for everyone. 

Q. What is AHIP doing to change the way people think about and approach health care?

A. While healthcare works for hundreds of millions of Americans today, we know we can do better. And we all have a role to play. AHIP is collaborating with other healthcare leaders to identify and advocate for real solutions. We are committed to working together to improve what’s working and fix what’s not, until every consumer has affordable coverage, access to high-quality care, and control over their health care choices.

We want people to understand that health insurance providers are their advocate, negotiating with doctors, hospitals, and drug makers for lower prices for them. We are working with doctors, nurses and hospitals to break down barriers to good care, so that people get the care they need, when they need it, without hassle. We are a vocal supporter of comprehensive coverage that covers pre-existing conditions, preventive care, and management of chronic health conditions. Because when you do better, we all do better. And American families get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they’re getting the care they need at a cost they can afford.

Q. What do you hope to get out of your engagement with the Health Advisory Council and other fellow members?

A. The Health Advisory Council includes many leading organizations that share our commitment to improving health care. Through our participation in the Council, we hope to find more opportunities to work together for real solutions that improve affordability, choice, and value for patients and consumers. From removing barriers that make it hard for people to find coverage that works for them. To helping people get educated on how to maintain their best health. To helping them understand their options for getting the care they need. To helping them get the healthcare information they need, when they need it, in a form that’s meaningful for them. When we work together to find real solutions to the challenges that touch people where they live, work, and play, we truly help people get healthier faster – and stay healthier longer.