Health Care Group Calls for Better Consumer Protections

"It's important that consumers understand that there are consumer safe guards in place. Individual health care coverage is affordable, accessible and it's working for millions of Americans," said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the industry lobby group AHIP, America's Health Insurance Plans. "But we recognize that some individuals are falling through the cracks."

Zirkelbach said the industry is pushing for more reforms, such as third party review of claims and guaranteed coverage, but warns of adding too much regulation.

"It's important to consider the unintended consequences," he said. According to AHIP, strict regulations would drive health care costs up and force many out of coverage.

Heading into the presidential election, both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have pledged to fix the health care system. Obama's plan sets out to provide more group coverage to consumers, similar to the health package that members of Congress are offered. McCain's plan would offer more individual coverage, shifting away from employer-based health care.

Pollack said the survey shows that states don't have strong enough regulations to support McCain's plan.

"They'll be worse off than they are today," he said. "Some states do have decent regulations, but whatever exists would be weaker under a de-regulated, private insurance system that is the vision for the future by Senator McCain."

Pollack said the government should take action to better protect people looking for individual coverage.

"The most important thing that needs to happen is, there really needs to be a federal set of rules so no one has to worry about certain basic rights." Pollack said.

According to many in the health care industry, those are rules that would increase costs and force many Americans to abandon much needed coverage.

ABC News' Kate Barrett contributed to this report.

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