Topic: Health Insurance Exchanges

Obamacare Activity Quiets in Preparation for a Busy September

Olga Walther

With the failed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal effort, senators packed their bags and headed off for August recess. Their return will be met with a significantly packed healthcare agenda: Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization, ACA Stabilization Bill, Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, as well as last ditch efforts to repeal the ACA through bills that have yet to be voted on such as Graham-Cassidy.

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Are 1332 Waivers the Next Frontier of Obamacare Reform?

Olga Walther

Forty-nine Democrats and three Republicans delivered a blow to Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal efforts last week by voting against what was then seen as the final effort to pass a bill through the Senate. Already this week, talks have ramped up of both a new repeal effort as well as bipartisan efforts to force through a “market stabilization bill.” Despite the focus on possible repeal legislation, the administration already holds one powerful card in their hand – the use of 1332 waivers – that could provide an avenue for healthcare reform through state action.

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Still Mean: Senate GOP Releases ACA Repeal Bill That’s Worse Than House

John Gorman

After six weeks of intensely secret negotiations, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (BCRA) is out, and it’s much worse than the House’s AHCA. The story remains the same: worsening benefit cuts for the poor to provide a tax cut for the rich. After Trump called it “mean,” and literally every healthcare organization has rallied against it, the hoped-for moderating influence of the august upper body of the U.S. Congress is gone. TrumpCare is still mean.

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CBO Discredits TrumpCare Talking Points on ACA Repeal Bill

John Gorman

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessment of TrumpCare/the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and its topline findings: 23 million would lose coverage, it cuts $1.1 TRILLION in coverage assistance to low-income Americans, it would increase premiums for those age 50-64 by more than 850%, all while providing a massive tax cut to the wealthy and various healthcare industries like device manufacturers.

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CMS Announces Two New Enrollment Changes in ACA Exchanges

Olga Walther

While Affordable Care Act (ACA) talks have hit a stalemate in the Senate, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made good on its promise to make changes to the regulation in an attempt to both ease the regulatory burden and potentially increase enrollment in 2018. CMS made two enrollment changes for the small business Exchange and the individual Exchange. While the impact on consumers is not yet clear, the two moves will dynamically change the relationship between brokers, agents, and consumers and may actually be an efficient step by the new administration to boost coverage sign ups in 2018.

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The TrumpCare Sausage Factory Grinds Away in the Senate

John Gorman

While headlines rage in DC about Trump’s leaks to Russian spies visiting the White House last week, the Senate’s sausage factory grinds away on TrumpCare. You’ll recall following House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Senate essentially declared it DOA in the upper chamber and started over. Health plans are in the middle of bid development for the ObamaCare Marketplace and for Medicare Advantage and Part D, so timing and details matter.

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Guidance on the 2016 HHS-Operated Risk Adjustment Data Validation Program

Jessica Smith

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2016 Health and Human Services Operated Risk Adjustment Data Validation (HHS-RADV) would be conducted as a pilot year in the same aspect as the 2015 HHS-RADV. This announcement came two days after the final risk adjustment data submissions were due to be submitted to the EDGE server for 2016 dates of service.

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