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.
News that Benefits You
Welcome to CLG Employer Resources’ News Page. Here you will find uselful articles relevant to you..
Currently plans on the WA Healthplanfinder come with a monthly carrier fee of $7.46. Starting with all 2019 plans this fee will be reduced to $3.46. The reduction in this fee is attributed to the record number of people who signed up for individual plans for 2018 as well as changes in operations. For more information please see The Spokesman-Review.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) disclosed recently that it plans to reduce its support of the ACA Federal Exchanges in 2019 and move funding to states. First Congress must repeal the ACA. For more information please see Fierce Healthcare.
The Trump Administration has issued new rules regarding the ACA Individual Mandate that take effect immediately. (The repeal of the Individual Mandate will not take place until 2019.) The new rules include a hardship exemption as well as an exception for those who oppose abortion where the only plans offered cover the procedure. For more information please see The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The AP.
A provision included in the budget deal passed earlier this year includes a change to how much of a discount drug companies must give Medicare participants. Currently Medicare participants receive a 50% discount, the provision boosts this to 70%. For more information please see Bloomberg News.
11.8 million people enrolled in ACA plans for 2018, down only 400,000 from 2017. First-time enrollment was down 4%. In states like WA that run their own exchanges, the enrollment remained the same from 2017. These numbers come as a surprise to some since the open enrollment window was cut in half and federal outreach efforts were greatly reduced. For more information please see The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Attempted ACA stabilization legislation has failed after seven months of bipartisan partnership between Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn). This ends any chance of stabilizing the health care law this year. Please see Politico for more information.
Congress is expected to begin debating a spending bill which will fund the government until October this week. It remains to be seen if funding for ACA subsidy payments will be included in the spending bill. Please see The Wall Street Journal for more information.
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.
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.