The Trump Administration and Congress have come together to expand benefits for chronically ill older Americans. Specifically people with multiple long-term illnesses. Solutions include nutrition, transportation, and housing. For more information please see The New York Times.
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States are increasing waiver requests to help modify their Medicaid programs. Waivers include work requirements and funding for mental health. Please see FierceHealthcare for more information.
The preexisting conditions protection of the Affordable Care Act is being challenged in district court. If the plaintiffs win and the provision is removed, 52 million Americans under the age of 65 would be at risk of losing coverage essentially returning to the way things were before the ACA. For more information please see The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Seventy-four health plans were filed for Washington State’s 2019 individual and family health insurance market. The average rate increase across the plans is 19.08%. Eleven insurers filed the plans. There will be no counties without insurers for 2019, though 14 will only have one option. You can read more here.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that ACA premiums will rise by 15% in 2019, mainly due to the repeal of the individual mandate which takes effect the same year. They also predict that a total of 35 million people under the age of 65 will be uninsured by 2027. For more information please see CNN and CNBC.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will not approve lifetime limits for Medicaid coverage previously requested by multiple states. This continued stance breaks with conservatives who support setting caps for how long an individual can receive Medicaid benefits. For more information please see The Hill.
HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, came out in defense of the Trump Administration’s plan to lower prescription drug prices. For more information please see The Washington Post.
On Friday, May 11th the Trump Administration unveiled its plan to lower prescription drug prices. The proposal allows for more negotiation for Medicare drug prices through Part D drug plans. Additionally, the plan hopes to create more competition in the drug industry, expedite the availability of generic drugs, and reduce the amount paid to middlemen. No timeline for the implementation of the plan has been provided. For more information please see The Washington Post.
Multiple house democrats came together to urge Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on the measure to stabilize the ACA. For more information please see The Hill.
Health & Human Services is attempting to make it easier for Medicare patients to view and understand the prices for procedures from hospitals. This change will hopefully be achieved through updates to Medicare payment rules, essentially how Medicare pays hospitals. For more information please see The Washington Post.