NGA calls for Congressional action on CHIP renewal

On May 11, 2017, the National Governors Association (NGA) released a letter to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce calling for Congressional action to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five more years. The letter is signed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, NGA Chair, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, NGA Vice-Chair for Health and Human Services. [More]

House Committees move forward on ACA repeal

The House took a major step in advancing action on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the filing of the American Health Care Act. The bill, which was filed in the House of Representatives on March 6, 2017, is a compilation of budget reconciliation packages from the House Ways & Means Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee, in follow-up to the budget resolution adopted in January. [More]

CMS proposes rules to stabilize health insurance markets

On February 15, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft proposed regulations intended to stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rules would shorten the open enrollment period for 2018, amend standards on special enrollment periods, increase pre-enrollment verification of eligibility on the HealthCare.gov website, allow health insurance issuers to apply consumers’ payments to past unpaid debts for coverage, increase allowable variations in the actuarial value (AV) calculations, offer more flexibility in substantiating provider network adequacy, and facilitate insurers’ compliance with essential community provider (ECP) standards. [More]

CMS announces the release of $22 Million in Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protections grant funding

On June 15, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced the release of $22 million in grant funding for State planning and implementing of the health insurance market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The grants are aimed at helping States ensure their laws, regulations and procedures are in line with Federal requirements and that the States are able to effectively monitor and enforce health insurance market reforms and consumer protections under the ACA. States must submit a letter of intent by July 6th. Grant applications are due August 15th at 3:00 pm. [More]

KFF estimates significant increases in Exchange premiums for 2017

On June 15, 2016, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a report entitled, “Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces.” The report estimates that premiums on Federal and State-based Exchanges will rise in 2017 at about twice the rate of increase for 2016 and that insurer participation in Exchanges will decline. KFF compared final 2016 premiums versus proposed 2017 premiums for major cities in 13 states and the District of Columbia (the geographic areas for which KFF could access complete 2017 rate filings for all insurers planning to participate in Exchanges in 2017). Insurers’ proposed 2017 premiums will be subject to review by state insurance departments and may be adjusted following state review. [More]

HHS finalizes ACA non-discrimination rules

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), finalized rules in the Federal Register on non-discrimination under federally-funded health care programs and activities. The final rules implement section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which broadly prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, in order to advance health care equity and reduce health care disparities. The final rules reflect OCR’s evaluation of 24,875 public comments on proposed rules that were published on September 8, 2015. [More]

U.S. District Court Judge rules in favor of the House against Administration’s funding of subsidies under the ACA

On May 12, 2016, Federal District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the District of Columbia District ruled in favor of the House of Representatives in its challenge against the Obama administration’s funding of subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Judge Collyer ruled that Congress had not provided specific authority for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund the subsidies provided under section 1402 of the ACA, which are intended to assist low-income individuals to pay for insurance premiums for coverage acquired under the exchanges. [More]