Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Individual Health Insurance Market

Regulatory Uncertainty Continues to Disrupt ACA Marketplaces

November 16, 2018 - New research published by the Kaiser Family Foundation provides insight into the forces driving health payers to participate in certain ACA marketplaces while wholly quitting others. Insurer participation in the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces, which opened in 2014, has led to uneven distribution of available plans in different parts of the country and within states...


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HealthCare.gov Breach Exposes Data of 75K Individuals

by Chuck Green

Last month, a breach of HealthCare.gov took place that affected those applying for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, HHS reported last Friday. The intrusion led to inappropriate access to the personal information of about 75,000...

CMS to Audit Premium Subsidy Eligibility for Individual Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new rule that would audit premium subsidy eligibility for individual health plan beneficiaries and monitor premium assistance programs through the federal insurance exchanges. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care...

CMS Broadens ACA Waiver Scope for State Insurance Programs

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has issued federal guidance intended to expand the scope and availability of state-level waiver programs.   State governments can now apply for State Relief and Empowerment Waivers that may result in weaker consumer protections...

CMS: ACA Premiums to Decline in 2019 for Silver Plan Consumers

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has announced it expects the average ACA health plan premium to drop by 1.5 percent for healthy consumers that purchase low-cost silver tier plans. The agency stated that it is the first time since 2014 that premiums in any part of...

AMA, Industry Orgs Object to Short-Term Health Plan Expansion

by Thomas Beaton

The American Medical Association and other industry trade groups have filed amici curiae in support of a lawsuit contesting the legality of short-term health plans. The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) contends that the...

Payers Partner with Trade Orgs to Roll Out Association Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare payers are beginning to launch partnerships with trade organizations and chambers of commerce to provide association health plans (AHPs) to small businesses and contractors. The roll out of AHPs follows federal and state...

Montana Reinsurance Program May Cut Premiums Up to 20%

by Thomas Beaton

Montana is moving ahead with the idea of creating a reinsurance program for the state’s health insurance market.  The program may reduce premiums between 10 and 20 percent, said Governor Steve Bullock and Department of...

Handful of States Propose Lower ACA Premium Rates for 2019

by Thomas Beaton

Several states have announced lower ACA premium rates for 2019, bucking a national trend brought on by unstable markets and regulatory changes.   While early proposals from a number of states, including Virginia, Maryland, and...

Payers Sue to Collect 2017 Cost Sharing Reduction Payments

by Thomas Beaton

Payer organizations are exercising their right to use the court system to collect cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments that were not provided in the last quarter of 2017. A number of lawsuits are challenging the government’s...

How to Curb Adverse Selection in the Individual Health Plan Market

by Thomas Beaton

Maintaining a profitable individual health plan product is already challenging, but adverse selection can create additional problems that impede a payer’s ability to control health plan costs. Policies within the Affordable Care...

ACA Health Insurance Tax to Cost $16B, Lead to Higher Premiums

by Thomas Beaton

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax (HIT) is expected to levy $16 billion in fees for health insurers by 2020, leading payers to increase premiums by an anticipated 2.2 percent, according to a Oliver-Wyman report...

GAO Critiques HHS Actions on ACA Navigator Program Funding

by Thomas Beaton

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has questioned the data-driven methodology behind significant reductions in funding for the ACA navigator program and subsequent declines in new enrollment in health insurance plans.   In a...

CMS Tells States to Curb Silver-Loading with Off-Exchange Plans

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is asking state insurance departments to offer more off-exchange health plans in order to reduce silver-loading of qualified health plans (QHP). Silver-loading is the practice of raising premiums so that payers can earn larger federal...

New Jersey Gains CMS Approval for Reinsurance Program

by Thomas Beaton

New Jersey has received approval from CMS to implement a five-year reinsurance program that aims to lower individual health plan premiums by 15 percent. The program will operate from 2019 to 2023 and provide $218 million in reinsurance...

CMS Final Rule Extends Short-Term Health Insurance to 3 Year Max

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has issued a final rule that triples the length of time a beneficiary can keep short-term health insurance. The rule allows individuals to purchase a new short-term, limited benefit health plan that lasts for 12 months, or extend...

Insurance Coverage Rates Dip by 12% Due to High Premium Costs

by Thomas Beaton

Individual health plan enrollment between 2017 and 2018 fell by 12 percent as high premiums and a scarcity of subsidy assistance force consumers out of the market, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Health...

CMS Approves Wisconsin State Reinsurance Program

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has approved Wisconsin’s plan to launch a state reinsurance program from 2019 to 2023 to help reduce individual state premiums and control the growth of state healthcare spending. The program, called the Wisconsin Healthcare...

Transitional Health Insurance Plays Key Role in Coverage

by Thomas Beaton

Transitional health insurance, otherwise known as a short-term health plan, is a temporary insurance policy intended to provide stop-gap coverage when an individual is in between ACA compliant policies.  The National Association of...

CMS Suspends $10.4B in Risk Adjustment Payments to Payers

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has temporarily withheld $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments for 654 healthcare payers, citing a ruling in the US District Court of New Mexico that invalidated the agency’s risk adjustment methodology. The ruling, which...

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