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Healthcare Policy

Tavenner Steps Down from AHIP, Hands Leadership to Matt Eyles

by Thomas Beaton

The AHIP Board of Directors has appointed Matt Eyles as the organization’s new President and CEO to replace Marilyn Tavenner after she retires on June 1st, 2018.    Eyles was elected unanimously as Tavenner’s...

Individual Insurance Premiums to Soar Without Policy Actions

by Thomas Beaton

Individual insurance premiums may rise between 12 and 32 percent nationally by 2019, with cumulative increases of 34 to 94 percent by 2021, according to new research conducted by health plan actuaries and experts at Harvard, UCLA, and UC...

CMS: Idaho Association Health Plan Expansion Violates ACA

by Thomas Beaton

CMS Administrator Seema Verma informed Idaho governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R-ID) and state insurance officials that efforts to launch an expansion of association health plan (AHPs) sales violates the market protections...

AR Medicaid Demonstration Adds 9-Month Re-Enrollment Block

by Thomas Beaton

Arkansas received approval from CMS for a 1115 Medicaid demonstration that adds work requirements for Medicaid eligibility and adds a nine-month block on member re-enrollment if individuals don’t find work. Arkansas’...

BCBS Earned Positive ACA Health Plan Revenues in Uncertain Market

by Thomas Beaton

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (BCBS of NC) earned positive ACA health plan revenues after years of financial losses, citing low medical claims and more available consumers after other payers exited the sale of plans through...

Idaho’s Expansion of Association Health Plans Risks ACA Market

by Thomas Beaton

The Academy of Actuaries warned insurance officials and government leaders in Idaho that the decision to expand the sale of association health plans (AHP) will destabilize ACA individual health plan risk pools and reduce essential health...

Latest Medicare Fraud Schemes Targeted $139.4M via Kickbacks

by Thomas Beaton

Three Medicare fraud schemes in recent weeks have targeted a total $139.4 million, which led the Department of Justice (DoJ) to seek multiple convictions and a combined 33 years in prison sentences. Each of the schemes involved the use of...

Uninsured Adults Apprehensive About Health Insurance Costs

by Thomas Beaton

About 71 percent of uninsured adults aware of open enrollment periods did not enroll in state or federally-based health plans because of apprehension to rising health insurance costs and waning confidence that the ACA will remain in...

Value-Based Care Key to Bipartisan Healthcare System Reform

by Thomas Beaton

A group of five governors developed a bipartisan plan to reform the US healthcare system by using value-based care strategies such as quality reporting, insurance stabilization policies, and encouraging consumers to have a more proactive...

GAO: Insufficient Data on Success of 1115 Medicaid Demonstrations

by Thomas Beaton

State and federal evaluations of 1115 Medicaid demonstrations have insufficient data to determine demonstration success because states tend report fragmented program results, according a new GAO report. Currently, there are thirty-four...

Reinsurance, CSR Reinstatement May Stabilize Individual Premiums

by Thomas Beaton

AHIP supports a number of policy solutions that could reverse Trump Administration actions that have resulted in higher premiums and unstable markets. In a new policy brief, the payer advocacy group suggests that lawmakers focus on the...

CMS Proposes 9-Month Extension of Short-Term Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is proposing that consumers should be allowed to stay on short-term health plans, including association health plans, for twelve months at a time, despite the fact that these plans are generally non-compliant with the Affordable Care...

Idaho Prepares to Offer Association Health Plans to Consumers

by Thomas Beaton

Idaho will allow payers to offer association health plans (AHPs) that are not required to meet all of the consumer protections or benefits criteria included in the Affordable Care Act.   Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter...

2019 HHS Budget Aims for ACA Repeal, Public Payer Savings

by Thomas Beaton

The newly proposed HHS Budget for fiscal year (FY) 2019 says a repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would save the government trillions, while restructuring Medicare and Medicaid could produce federal savings. The budget...

Modernizing Medicare Fee-for-Service Cost-Sharing Has Trade Offs

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare’s fee-for-service (FFS) cost-sharing design requires modernization to protect beneficiaries from catastrophic costs, but changing the current design may bring new financial concerns, a new GAO report found. In 2015,...

IN Medicaid Waiver Uses Work Requirements, Tobacco Penalties

by Thomas Beaton

Indiana is the second state to receive approval for a 1115 Medicaid demonstration that adds work requirements as a condition of beneficiary eligibility.  The demonstration also adds premium penalties for tobacco use as well as...

Lawmakers Propose HDHP Coverage for Chronic Disease Prevention

by Thomas Beaton

A new bill introduced into the House and Senate would allow high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to provide chronic disease prevention services before a patient meets his or her deductible, which could help to accelerate a growing HDHP...

House Bill Retains Low-Quality Medicare Advantage Plans until 2027

by Thomas Beaton

Update on 2/12/2018: Presdient Trump signed the spending bill into effect on Feburary 9th, 2018 which funds the government for two years and extends quality deadlines for Medicare Advantage plans.  The latest government spending bill...

Alaska Bill to Alter Emergency Room Payment Rules Brings Concern

by Thomas Beaton

A bill in the Alaska Senate intended to repeal protections around emergency room payments has drawn significant concern from the state’s chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).  The bill would remove a...

Medicare Fraud Cases Lead to Mix of Convictions, Settlements

by Thomas Beaton

The Department of Justice’s (DoJ) crackdown on Medicare fraud continued as new investigations led to one provider conviction and two multi-million dollar settlements with provider organizations. The conviction found a provider...

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