Major Health Policy Developments coming out of the Federal Administration

While Congressional efforts to change or repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to be stalled, the federal administration announced two significant health policy developments at the end of last week – an Executive Order aimed at promoting access to plans not subject to the full range of ACA protections as well as the decision to stop making cost-sharing reduction payments immediately. [More]

Update on the Senate’s efforts to Repeal parts of the ACA

After releasing the Better Care Reconciliation Act at the end of last week, leadership in the U.S. Senate announced this week that it will not be voting on the bill before the July 4th Congressional recess as planned. Instead efforts are underway to overhaul the bill, with a vote is expected sometime after the recess. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he intends to submit a new version of the bill to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office today. [More]

New ACA-Related announcements from the Federal Administration

The administration is taking more limited steps to influence implementation of the law, including two upcoming changes to enrollment through Marketplaces announcements last month. On May 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will be proposing a rule to have enrollment into Federally-facilitated Small Business Marketplace (known as Small Business Health Options Program or “SHOP”) health insurance plans go directly through insurers as of 2018. Two days later, on May 17, CMS released guidance enabling (but not requiring) full direct enrollment in individual market Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) plans starting for open enrollment for plan year 2018. [More]

PCG creates summary of the House-passed health care bill

The American Health Care Act (“the bill”) passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017. As outlined in greater detail in the PCG summary, the bill does not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in full, but rather proposes changes primarily focused on the ACA’s insurance affordability, Medicaid expansion, coverage requirements and revenue provisions. It also proposes changes to Medicaid funding more generally and allows states to waive medical underwriting prohibitions. [More]

States continue to pursue Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers

With repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stalled, states are increasingly considering Section 1332 Waivers as a way to expand upon or customize the ACA to best address the unique circumstances within the state. Alaska and Oklahoma are the two most recent states to take formal steps toward State Innovation Waivers, both states following on the heels of the recent Section 1332 Waiver approval granted to Hawaii, which we summarized in the February edition of Health Policy News. [More]

Hawaii receives approval of 1332 State Innovation Waiver submission

Hawaii requested a 1332 State Innovation Waiver in order to preserve the state’s Prepaid Health Care Act (Prepaid) by exempting the state from requirements related to the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Since the enactment of Prepaid in 1974, employers in Hawaii have been required to provide health insurance coverage that meets the evolving standards of Prepaid to employees working 20 hours or more per week, with some exceptions. In 2011, more than 480,000 non-union employees and their dependents were covered under employer-sponsored Prepaid-compliant plans. [More]

Roundup of federal health policy developments

The debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is well-underway and there are a number of significant developments that warrant a closer look. Here we provide a roundup of recent developments.

Administrative Action
Upon entering office, President Trump signed two Executive Orders. The first, on January 20, entitled... [More]

The House considers health policy bills

As debate continues over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the House has held hearings on four piecemeal bills aimed at making incremental changes to the ACA:

- The State Age Rating Flexibility Act of 2017 would expand permissible age rating bands to 5:1 (currently 3:1) under the ACA or a different ratio adopted by the state. [More]

The Obamacare Replacement Act

Senator Rand Paul introduced the Obamacare Replacement Act on January 25th, which would repeal much of Title 1 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

• Most consumer protections (except as outlined below)
• Rating restrictions
• Rate review requirements
• Essential Health Benefits
• Medical loss ratio requirements
• Individual and employer coverage mandates [More]