A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that the US spends almost twice as much as other wealthy countries on healthcare. The two main areas identified as outliers are administrative costs and medical services. For more information please see The Washington Post, The New York Times, or the published study in the JAMA.
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House Republican leaders are considering a complicated budget action that would pay for additional ACA funding. Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs) are payments from the ACA to health insurance carriers. CSRs are currently part of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) baseline. Removing the CSRs from the baseline would allow the CBO to deem any future payments as savings for the government. Please see The Hill for additional information.
A new analysis from Avalere Health, a health consulting firm, estimates that opening up access to Association Health Plans (AHPs), as proposed by the Trump administration, would result in higher premiums and increase the number of uninsured Americans. Over 3 million individuals would shift from ACA plans impacting the remaining individuals on ACA plans with premium increases of up to 3.5% by 2022. Please see The Hill for more information.
House Republicans are currently debating whether to repeal or delay the ACA’s employer mandate. Since 2015, the employer mandate has required employers with 50 or more employees to offer health coverage to their employees or face a penalty. Please see The Hill for more information.
Recent analysis indicate that healthcare spending will increase to $5.7 trillion by 2026. The aging population and increase in prices for health care have been identified as factors impacting this predicted growth. This growth is expected to increase faster than the growth of the overall economy. Please see Washington Post, AP, Bloomberg News, and Reuters for more information.
The Trump Administration is working to expand hardship exemptions from the 2010 Affordable Care Act, allowing more people to avoid paying the individual mandate penalty. See The Washington Post for more details.
The short-term funding bill that passed Monday night includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. For more information please visit The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and The Hill.
The Department of Labor has released a proposed rule to expand association health plans (AHPs) in response to an executive order issued by the president on October 12, 2017. To learn more please visit NAHU.
Reports indicate that during the fourth quarter of 2017, 12.2% of people were uninsured compared to 10.9% during the fourth quarter of 2016. This is the first time since 2008 that the percentage of adults without insurance increased from a previous year. Read more at Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Reuters.
The IRS is giving insurers and self-insured employer health plans, thirty extra days to distribute 1095-B & 1095-C forms to current and former enrollees. Please see Benefits Pro for more details.