The opioid package includes lifting some limits on Medicaid paying for care at treatments facilities, opioids being imported through the mail and the development of non-addictive painkillers. It’s expected that this bill will speed through both houses of Congress. See The Hill, the Washington Times and the Washington Examiner for more information.
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Driven in part by the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, it’s projected that over the next 10 years, “expenditures would grow at an average annual rate of 5.7%, reaching over $1 trillion by 2026,” the article says. In a statement, CMS Administrator Seema Verma “said the projected growth in spending was ‘simply unsustainable’ and that the government should be looking for ways to slow that growth. For more information, see Fierce Healthcare.
The short-term plans are not yet available, but several large insurers are expressing concern. They say the broader availability and longer duration of these slimmed-down policies has the potential to harm consumers. Those who rely on short-term plans for an extended time period will face high medical bills when they need care that isn’t covered or exceed their coverage limits. Please see the AP, the Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times for more information.
Reports show only 14.4 million individual enrollments in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 17.4 million in 2015, after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Please see The Hill for more information.
A final rule by the Trump administration clears the way for short-term policies that the administration claims will help people who are struggling to afford coverage. These policies are intended to fill brief gaps in coverage and will be available for 12 months at a time. Some say these policies may not be right for everybody. Please see The New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today for more information.
House Republicans joined a few Democrats to support a bill that would postpone the health insurance tax through 2021, whille another health related tax bill loosens the restriction on health savings accounts. To read more, visit USA Today.
In an abrupt reversal, the ACA’s risk adjustment program has been restored It seems the administration agreed with critics, that if the program remained suspended, it could potentially cause chaos for consumers. Please see The New York Times for more information.
A new proposal would allow physicians to begin receiving the same amount for all office visits, regardless of the patient’s condition. Critics say the proposal could discourage some doctors from taking Medicare patients. Please see The New York Times for more information.
After reports earlier this month of the Administration suspending payments to insurers, there are now talks taking place to restore the Obamacare program that compensated health insurers for some enrollee’s who have more serious conditions. Please see Bloomberg BNA, The Hill and The Washington Examiner for more information.
The insurance industry is concerned about the impact of suspending the ACA Risk Adjustment payments on premiums. Higher premiums are predicted due to this funding freeze. Please see The Hill, Bloomberg News and Politico for more information.